Project Everest

Six Meetings in (not so) Sunny Suva!

We drove into Suva bright and early ready for a big day. We had 5 meetings planed and ended up having 6.


Our first meeting was with Manisha from the economics planning division of the Youth Entrepreneurial Scheme (YES). YES offers training and incubation for youth that present outstanding and innovative business ideas. Notably, they offer training with little business knowledge or experience required, but they must have a viable innovative idea. We proposed that SoCon deliver education modules to streamline YES’s incubation process. They were very receptive to this idea and wanted to immediately look over our modules so that it could be pitched at a board meeting the next day.


We then met with Alumeci, who is the director of T.E.S.T (Technology and Employment Skills Training) in order to discuss collaboration on SoCon’s curriculum. This meeting ended up opening up new opportunities for SoCon to consider. We discuss the collaborative effort that SoCon and T.E.S.T could take together to accredit our current five modules. Our moonshot goal was to potentially have SoCon workshops as complementary to the workshops that T.E.S.T provides, with a continuing case study. We also discussed their ability to help recommend qualified trainers who would be willing to run our workshops between when we leave at the end of February and when the next SoCon team takes over in July.


We then when to the Permanent Secretary’s office. There, we met with an advisor to the permanent secretary and organised a probable trip to an Pacific wide Education conference. After that we had a meeting with the National Employment Centre where the documents needed in order for us to receive more data on unemployment in Fiji from their research were clearly outlined. This is a great step forward as we now have a clear understanding of how to receive more accurate market data.


After that we met with the Fijian Entrepreneur Newspaper. We discussed with reporters who had previously reached out to Project Everest the possibility of a monthly update for all projects including FarmEd and Fuel. This newspaper is particularly helpful to us as the SoCon team as advertising for the new village workshops because of their calendar function. They focus on rural areas and have a regular monthly readership of approximately 7000 people.


Finally, after walking in the pouring rain for 4 hours we went back to the car and headed to the Suva office of SPBD (South Pacific Business Development) so that we could have a look at the space currently being used for our workshops with them and introduce ourselves. Lastly we went to meet Courts and ensured we followed up their expression of interest. We organised a meeting with them in Sigatoka later this week. This is a promising start to a relationship with Courts because they have 80% market share in Fiji.



Overall it was an incredible day that opened up a lot of avenues for SoCon that could hopefully improve it's scalability and future prospects.

edited on Feb 1, 2018 by Courtney Daley
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