New jobs bring hope to the people of Nauru

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Frauline Limen took advantage of the Nauru Entrepreneurship Development Project to improve her livelihoods. Photo Credit: UNDP/Patrick Tuimaleali'ifano.

More than 260 Nauruans have been able to increase their income and improve the livelihoods of their families after knocking on the doors of the Enterprise Resource Centre.

The Enterprise Resource Centre has assisted many Nauruans who have accessed the Centre’s services including financial literacy training and access to a micro-credit fund that provides loans of up to AU$2000. Support from the Centre has led to the establishment of 16 successful businesses and five new jobs have been created.

Highlights

  • More then 260 people participated in the programme.
  • 17 business projects were funded.
  • 14 of them were led by women, including 10 young women, and three by men, of which two were youths.
  • Overall project funding of US$211,693.

The Centre was set up in 2010 as part of the Nauru Entrepreneurship Development Programme, a joint initiative between the Government of Nauru and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with US$211,693 funding from the Government of Australia through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).

Nauru, a small Pacific island nation went from being one of the world’s wealthiest countries in the 1970s to one of the world’s poorest. Phosphate mining which brought Nauru its riches, is on the decline and apart from the public service, there are few livelihood options for people on the tiny island nation, which has a total land area of 21 square kilometers and an estimated population of 10,065.

The Nauru Entrepreneurship Development Programme opened new doors for income generation for the people of Nauru. The Programme funded 17 business projects, 14 of them were led by women, including 10 young women, and three by men, of which two were youths.

For 21-year-old single mother Rachel Waidabu who has never been employed and depended on her father and extended family for assistance, the Entrepreneurship Training Course provided her the opportunity to start her own business. With a loan of AU$1000 from the micro-credit scheme, Rachel opened a small shop selling items like rice, sugar, oil and local crafts. “I worked very hard to write my business plan and I’m very happy the training opened opportunities for me. With my business, I can now provide my daughter with three meals a day,” she said.

For other participants of the training, like Rachel who had the will but not the skills to develop business plans nor financial assistance to do so, the services the Enterprise Resource Centre provides has helped set up businesses or improve existing businesses.

“The training really helped me to assess myself and taught me how to save and spend responsibly in order to run my business well. With the assistance from the project I plan to extend my workshop to cater for more customers,” said Frauline Limen, a tailor.

Caterer, Lyris Kam also used the training to develop her business plan.Through a loan from the Centre, she bought an oven and fridge and says “it is now easier to cater my existing customers and expand my business.”

Poultry farmer, Ivianna Gaiyabu has learned how to budget for her business through training offered by the Programme.

“The training has taught me how to control my money. I have managed to reduced operational costs on chicken feed and water; I know how to manage my cash flow, I am selling donuts while I’m waiting for my chicks to mature,” said poultry farmer, Ivianna Gaiyabu.

On March 8, International Women’s Day, Rachael, Frauline, Lyris and Ivianna can stand proud and join the women around the world in celebrating women’s empowerment.

The Programme has also provided support to many men.  Brick Builder and wielder, Gary Roland said, “The training was an eye opener. I feel like I have gone from a grassroots mind set into a real entrepreneur.  The training has taught me to plan for the future and not only for the short term.”

The Nauru Entrepreneurship Development Programme has made a contribution to the development of the Small and Medium Enterprise sector – a priority identified in Nauru’s National Sustainable Development Strategy 2005-2025 and has produced some good results,” said Russ J Kun, Permanent Secretary for Commerce, Industry & Environment. “This project provides alternative livelihood options and gives people the opportunity to start a business to generate income of their own. Providing these skills, particularly to the unemployed not only equip them with a source of income to enable them to meet their basic needs, but give them a sense of self-worth, which is empowering."