SUVA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Small and micro enterprises form the backbone of the Fijian economy, said a Fijian government minister on Monday.
Fiji's Local Government Minister Premila Kumar said that small and micro enterprises contribute over 18 percent of the island nation's GDP and provide employment for about 60 percent of the Fijian labor force.
Empowering individuals and groups to have a sound knowledge of entrepreneurship is a worthy cause, especially now in this time of COVID-19, she said.
Speaking during the Raiwaqa Raiwai Community Market Day, Kumar stressed that the ministry is trying to assist families to get back on their feet after losing their jobs or facing reduced hours of employment.
The Raiwaqa Raiwai Community Market Day will help women and their families to advance economically, she said, adding that the platform provides individuals to showcase their inherent talent in creating products for sale.
In 2015, Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama launched the Micro Small Business Grant (MSBG) Scheme, which is an initiative designed to provide grants for start-ups and assistance to new and existing micro and small businesses, of up to 1,000 Fijian dollars (about 474 U.S. dollars).
The grant is targeted at individuals who have particular skill sets, such as handicrafts, fruit and vegetable sellers, farming and handicrafts, among others. Beneficiaries of this scheme will be able to use the funds to overcome barriers in starting up new businesses or to boost their existing businesses. Enditem