Last week’s E-commerce training course brought together Pacific entrepreneurs from Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, offering the opportunity to apply for one of eight E-commerce grants of up to US$5,000.he training course, in line with the Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy and Roadmap and facilitated by the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), aimed to equip businesses with the tools to thrive in the digital era.
Approximately 66 entrepreneurs participated in the workshop, engaging in discussions about their digital business visions in the Pacific, exchanging insights, and dispelling misconceptions.
Dalida Borlasa, representing Yumi Up, a Vanuatu startup specializing in recycling services, expressed, “I found the E-commerce workshop extremely valuable as it taught me to build strong relationships with customers who engage with my business online. I am confident that the course will propel me towards achieving my business objectives.”
Conducted simultaneously in Samoa, Vanuatu, and Tuvalu, the course utilized technology to facilitate cross-border interaction. Live demonstrations by Pacific service providers, such as Vodafone and Maua App, further enriched the practical learning experience.
Reflecting on the success of the workshop, Marc Gerard, an E-commerce trainer in Vanuatu, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “Most of the Pacific Islands are just beginning their digital transformation. The business opportunities are enormous. Being an entrepreneur in this context is truly exciting, despite the challenges of limited connectivity and payment solutions.”
Zarak Khan, PIFS Director of Programmes and Initiatives, highlighted the increasing demand for e-commerce training, indicating the sector’s growth across the region.
“The Pacific Regional E-commerce Strategy aims to empower our entrepreneurs, and this workshop is a practical step towards achieving that goal.”
Following the workshop, all participants now have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to US$5,000, with two grants available in each country – Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Samoa, and FSM. Grant winners will receive coaching and ongoing support from E-commerce experts. However, the regional support doesn’t stop there.
The training programs have led to the establishment of an online Community of Practice, providing Pacific entrepreneurs with access to training materials, resources, information, direct mentorship, and network support.