Richard Butler | Exclusive By Adorina Massing of Daily Post | November 23rd, 2019
With the growing population, there is a higher need of innovative entrepreneurship in Vanuatu.
Faced with such challenges, a group of expats and ni-Vanuatu have decided to come together in order to create the V-LAB (Vanuatu Laboratory) with a view to influence the development of a conducive environment for entrepreneurship while offering practical accompaniment solutions to young entrepreneurs.
In order to do so, V-LAB is partnering with Yumiwork – Port Vila’s first co-working space with modern business incubator programs which offers office solutions, furniture, services and network, accessible to all.
With great support from BRED Bank, TVL and the New Zealand High Commission, V-LAB and Yumiwork have launched the first Business Incubator with aims to support entrepreneurship, innovation, skills and acquisition in Vanuatu.
As the Minister responsible for Trade, Commerce, Industries and Tourism, Deputy Prime Minister Jotham Napat officially launched the initiative at the Yumiwork office, located at the top floor of Lolam House in the heart of Port Vila town on Thursday evening.
“According to the International Business Innovation Association, there are about 7,000 incubators worldwide. And yet, there was none in Vanuatu until today,” said DPM Napat
“As we all know, entrepreneurship is a key driver for the economic development of any nation. By encouraging innovation, creating jobs and wealth, opening new markets and setting up a model for young generations.
“In line with Vanuatu’s economic development goals enshrined in the National Sustainable Development Plan, the Vanuatu Government increasingly strengthens its focus towards promoting youth entrepreneurship.
“Entrepreneurs are nation builders and their contribution should not be underestimated.
“My Ministry stands ready to provide the necessary support and look forward to seeing very soon the first businesses created by youth entrepreneurs with the assistance of Vanuatu Business Incubator.”
DPM Napat added that this year, his Ministry has designed a Trade Ready Programme within the 11th EDF intervention framework.
One of the activities of this programme is to support youth entrepreneurship by providing advisory services such as market search, business plan, access to finance, including sponsorship.
It will facilitate the provision of grants for selected youth entrepreneurs’ projects encompassing innovative technology and most significantly, create employments. This programme will begin in March 2020.