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Apia - 22 Jan 2024

News Number: G/01/2024

Members of Samoa Victim Support Group are discussing in a room.

Photo credit: Samoa Victim Support Group

A six-month partnership has been forged between the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Samoa Victim Support Group (SVSG) to strengthen the business skills of Nofotane women entrepreneurs.

Nofotane women are indigenous women in Samoa who marry outside their home village and live in their husband’s village. They are often denied rights to decision-making within their homes and communities and are at risk of various forms of violence.

Through the SVSG/ESCAP Nofotane Business Development Training, the project aims to economically empower 100 current or aspiring Nofotane woman entrepreneurs from remote or rural areas of Samoa, by providing them with critical skills to promote business sustainability.

The project will begin by developing and piloting three business modules in priority areas critical to Nofotane women operating small and micro businesses. The modules will cover financial literacy, including accessing finance, marketing Nofotane products and assessing the quality of Nofotane products.

Throughout February 2024, the training content will be implemented during two-day workshops for 20 women in Savaii and 80 women in Upolu. Following the training sessions, the project will award seed funding of US$500 each to six selected Nofotane women entrepreneurs who have a good business case to expand their existing small business or open up a new small business producing Nofotane products. The six entrepreneurs will also receive mentorship and coaching sessions delivered by SVSG Village Representatives.

This project is implemented in the context of ESCAP’s Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) programme, which supports women’s entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Nepal, Samoa and Viet Nam, with funding from Global Affairs Canada.

This strategic new partnership is part of the CWE programme’s efforts to enhance the economic empowerment of rural and remote indigenous women entrepreneurs through grassroots interventions, and contributes to ESCAP’s efforts to break down barriers experienced by women entrepreneurs in establishing, managing, and developing an enterprise.

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