Suva, Fiji, Wednesday, August 4, 2021 – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) launched the Pacific Green Entrepreneurs Network (PGEN) today, a multi-year, multi-million dollar program funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) to support entrepreneurs in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
The virtual launch event was attended by over 250 participants from the Pacific region and beyond. Remarks were made by GGGI’s Director-General and QFFD’s Deputy Director General for Planning, with a keynote address from Pacific Islands Development Forum’s (PIDF) Secretary General.
In his remarks, Mr. Ali Al-Dabbagh, Deputy Director General for Planning said, “It is our responsibility as Qatar Fund for Development, to work tirelessly on integrating climate action effort internationally on behalf of the State of Qatar. Our strategy focusses on enhancing community resilience through building the local capacities of Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries by promoting mitigation and adaptation solutions to climate change. We see grassroots economic innovation focusing on local solutions to environmental challenges as the key to sustainably facing climate change.”
“We trust that the Pacific Green Entrepreneurs Network will directly contribute to the long-term resilience of local economies and communities against the adverse impacts of climate change. At Qatar Fund for Development, we pledge that our team will work alongside our strategic partners GGGI, local governments, and local entrepreneurs to ensure that this project becomes a benchmark for local, innovative, and green economic development globally”, added Mr. Al-Dabbagh.
GGGI Director-General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, noted the importance of partnership in support of green entrepreneurship; “through this Pacific Green Entrepreneurship Network we look forward to working closely with our partners to support such a new generation of budding green entrepreneurs, to help them realize their dreams and jointly build a more sustainable future for us all.”
In his keynote address, Pacific Islands Development Forum (PIDF) Secretary General, Ambassador Solo Mara noted the importance of understanding the regional entrepreneurial challenges and opportunities; “innovation in the Pacific has its own unique characteristics that is framed around social, communal and cultural practices.”
Highlighting the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in particular, Ambassador Mara stated that “PGEN is an important pathway for women’s economic empowerment, because entrepreneurship has a multiplier effect on family well-being, poverty reduction and sustainable economic growth.”
The PGEN launch included a talanoa session on the topic “What is the future of green entrepreneurship in the Pacific?”, which featured inspiring entrepreneurs and business support organizations from five Pacific Island Countries.
Panelist from Papua New Guinea, Vani Nades of Emstret Holdings shared “I believe in creating an enabling environment that thrives with principles of nurturing the environment and community at heart. We look forward to collaborating with PGEN to create that space, it really does align with our passion and vision to provide support to entrepreneurs in Papua New Guinea and with our Pacific friends at large we can make that impact together and share the success.”
The aim of the event was to showcase innovative and inspiring entrepreneurs in the Pacific region and the need for supporting Pacific solutions to Pacific problems together with beginning a dialogue to strengthen awareness of green entrepreneurship and explore the role of a regional network in supporting the development of the green entrepreneurship ecosystem. The discussion also provided opportunities to explore future medium to long-term support and sustainability for green entrepreneurship in the Pacific region; and highlight the potential for environmental and social impact.
The launch event also served to unveil the Pacific Greenpreneurs website and call for applications for the inaugural Pacific Greenpreneurs Incubator program.
The Pacific Greenpreneurs Incubator program which will offer a training and mentoring program for existing innovative early-stage green micro, small, and medium-enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs with green business models and demonstrated growth potential that are in pursuit of a scalable and repeatable business model are encouraged to apply for this opportunity. Successful entrepreneurs in the incubator program will have the opportunity to participate in a business competition to secure grant seed fund capital of USD$5,000.
Application details for entrepreneurs and mentors can be found on the project website (www.pacificgreenpreneurs.com), which was also officially launched at the event.
About Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD):
Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) is a Qatari public institution committed, on behalf of the State of Qatar, to implement foreign aid projects by international best practices and standards.
Since 2012, QFFD has been providing aid to many countries in accordance with the international cooperation goals of Qatar National Vision 2030. Its primary goal is to achieve inclusive and sustainable development by addressing global priority issues in education, health, and economic development. In this context, priority is given to the following Sustainable Development Goals:
- SDG 3: “Ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all”;
- SDG 4: “Ensuring fair and inclusive education for all and enhancing lifelong learning for all”;
- SDG 8: “Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth and keeping full and productive employment and decent work for all.”
To realize the optimal development impact, QFFD projects are also designed to have cross-cutting co-benefits within SDG (2) on “Zero hunger” and SDG (6) on “Ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all” in addition to SDG (17) on “Partnerships to Achieve Goals.”
QFFD cooperates with many reputable actors through strategic partnerships both locally and internationally. These include Civil Society Organizations, government agencies, UN agencies, and the private sector.
About Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI):
GGGI was established as an international intergovernmental organization in 2012 at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. Its vision is “a low-carbon, resilient world of strong, inclusive, and sustainable growth” and its mission “to support Members in the transformation of their economies into a green growth economic model”. GGGI does this through technical assistance to: reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement; create green jobs; increase access to sustainable services (such as clean affordable energy, sustainable waste management); improve air quality; sustain natural capital for adequate supply of ecosystem services; and enhance adaptation to climate change.
Senior Project Management Officer
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)
Administration, Finance & Communications Associate
Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)