Apia, Samoa – Twenty youth entrepreneurs looking to accelerate their business ideas in the environment conservation and waste management space are taking part in the Youth Business Incubator Programme, launched last week.
The Youth Incubator Programme builds on the existing Business Accelerator Programme, under the Samoa Business Hub (SBH) and will be mplemented by Business Hub in partnership with UNDP.
Rosemary Tone, Co-Facilitator of the Youth Business Incubator for SBH says the Hub’s focus is to play its role in developing youth and women in business.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to strengthen meaningful partnerships with organisations like UNDP to build the capacity of youth to make a positive contribution by eliminating waste and generating green jobs for the people of Samoa,” said Ms Tone.
Over the next ten weeks, participants will be involved in a series of business development trainings, mentoring, coaching, and networking events, culminating in a pitching competition.
The Youth Incubator Programme aims to nurture and develop innovative business solutions to waste recovery and waste management through trainings and the provision of resources for young entrepreneurs.
Filitino Iosefa of Michelle’s Store at Matautu said he joined the programme as a way of furthering his business ideas and help his family business.
“I was interested in this movement to empower our youth and give us the opportunity to access support, mentoring and resources that we wouldn’t otherwise receive as youth in the community,” said Filitino, “From this we hope to advance our business ideas”.
Alamita Pereira of Maali Company Ltd said, “I wanted to learn ways I can contribute to my family business and how we can create green jobs and contribute more to the community. I also wanted to learn more and validate my own new business ideas”.
Talisua Ngg Cho, Ngg Cho Pioneers Company said the Youth Business Incubator Programme as given him the confidence to do more with his ideas.
The initiative is part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Circular Economy for the Recovery of Waste (CERO Waste) Project, which seeks to pilot value chain development in waste management in Samoa and Tokelau to explore and test innovative, adaptable and scalable circular solutions for the recovery of low-value plastic, glass and paper waste streams.
The CERO Waste project aims to divert waste from landfills to address immediate waste management and pollution challenges in Samoa and Tokelau.
“As an important component under this project, UNDP wants to help create employment for young people in circular waste recovery industries in Samoa and Tokelau. We see young women and men as key agents of change in a transition to a circular economy,” said Verena Linneweber, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative.
“It is our hope that by the end of this programme, the participants will have developed the confidence to kick-start their innovative business ideas. Over time, we are hopeful that employment opportunities will be created from these businesses.”
Key activities under the CERO Waste project include an Internship Programme, focusing on green employment with the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, the E-Youth Hub platform, a job-seeker site for youth, and now, the Youth Business Incubator Programme with the Samoa Business Hub.