Participants in our Livelihoods and Women’s Empowerment project in Vanuatu have just finished a course called Statem Bisnis Blong Yu (Starting your own business) run by the local Chamber of Commerce.
The project is funded through the Australian Government’s aid program, and the training was delivered completely in the local language, Bislama, with Bislama resources for the people to take home with them. The whole training package was also tailored to this particular group who are setting up businesses related to a pilot we are working with them which is about having reliable access to food.
This week the participants have been learning about how other businesses operate in and around the capital of Vanuatu, Port Vila. Specifically, they have been learning about marketing to both local and tourist markets to apply lessons in their own communities on the islands of Gaua, Pentecost and Maewo.
The women have bought packaging for their oil and they all have great ideas on how and where to sell their products when they return to their communities. One woman owns a shop, another will utilise a cooperative, and another will discuss her products with the popular shop in the local town and try to sell there.
The coconut oil they produce uses a different machine to others and utilises a method which is more pure than other approaches because it is taken directly from the coconut, not separated using water. This means the oil is of particularly high quality. Our colleague, Grace, who has been visiting there, has seen a sample and says it is the most fragrant coconut oil she has ever come across!