Apia, Samoa, Wednesday, 16th March 2022 – Four Samoan green enterprises graduated from the Pacific Greenpreneurs Incubator program, implemented in partnership by the Global Green Growth Institute and the Samoa Business Hub.
The Graduation Ceremony showcased and celebrated the achievements and growth of Samoan Incubator program participants, coaches, mentors and others involved in the program. The ceremony took place as a blended event, with Apia-based guests and participants attending in-person at the Samoa Business Hub and international attendees joining virtually.
The Incubator program is part of the Pacific Green Entrepreneurs Network (PGEN), a 3-year regional program funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and implemented by GGGI and local partners. The inaugural Pacific Greenpreneurs Incubator program ran from October 2021 to February 2022, with 6 early-stage green enterprises from Samoa participating in local workshops, regional training, mentoring, coaching, and networking.
Speakers at the event included Mr. Houlton Faasau from the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour (MCIL), Mr. Daniel Muñoz-Smith from GGGI, Mr. Vaitulia Alatina, from Samoa Business Hub and Ms. Marina Keil on behalf of the graduates.
The Guest of Honour, Mr. Faasau of MCIL, spoke of his involvement with the program, providing training and advice to the Greenpreneurs on intellectual property and branding, and congratulated the graduates on their achievement. He praised the program and Greenpreneurs , saying “You are all doing a marvelous job developing Samoa in an inclusive and sustainable manner through capacity building and empowering of our SMEs, and in parallel empowering our youth, women and I believe also those with special needs in a very green way”.
Speaking on behalf of the graduating Greenpreneurs, Ms. Marina Keil thanked GGGI, QFFD and the Samoa Business Hub, saying the program “equipped Greenpreneurs with knowledge and information on how to run a sustainable business that factors in our environment, that is really important because we only have one planet, so it’s important we do our part in saving planet Earth, our social responsibility and most importantly to run a profitable business.”
In thanking GGGI and QFFD, Mr. Alatina appreciated the program’s acknowledged the resilience of the Samoan Greenpreneurs, saying “we cannot begin to fully understand the business challenges you are going through with the pandemic, but your efforts to put in an application in the beginning and to turn out today is a testament to your fighting spirit”.
All the graduating enterprises are women-led and represent a variety of sectors including the circular economy, pest control, organic farming and mental health; namely Big Tings, Samoa Hygiene & Pest Control, LeMoana’s Organic Farming and Onelook Studio.
The Incubator program culminated in a Business Plan Competition, with two winners announced at the event. Ms. Marina Keil from Big Tings and Ms. Olisana & Ms. Okalani Mariner from Onelook Studio are being awarded USD 5,000 in seed grant funding each to invest in their business growth.
The Samoan Greenpreneurs graduates are part of the regional Pacific Greenpreneurs alumni, comprised of 39 early-stage green enterprises who have completed the program in Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu.
Applications for the 2022 Incubator and Accelerator programs will be open in coming months. For more information on the program, visit www.pacificgreenpreneurs.com