Bessi’s Reflections on Samoa

February 23, 2017

It was such a privilege to be in Samoa recently and not only have the chance to meet some incredibly inspirational local entrepreneurs but also to meet young people who will be the future of the country. TDi’s reputation in the Pacific is growing and we were encouraged to have entrepreneurs seeking us out to pitch their businesses. We can’t wait to find ways to support these wonderful organisations.

Spending a few days on the island of Savaii was the highlight for me. We had the chance to spend time in farmers’ homes talking about how the work of one of our investees, Samoa Coconut Cluster, is impacting their lives. With a massive focus on providing funds for schooling for their children and contributing to their communities through tithing to the Church, people were finding that the increased income they were receiving was providing much needed relief from the strains of financial burden.

We met one extraordinary young woman who was doing remarkably well at school and had a hope of going to university to study maths and science. When we asked her how she planned to pay for university she said she would keep collecting coconuts with her family! She was an enthusiastic, driven, intelligent young woman and I have no doubt that she, and hundreds of other girls and boys like her, will do incredible things for themselves, their families and their communities over the coming years. It’s an absolute privilege to play a small part in creating positive change and transformation in these peoples’ lives.

TDi has had an intense focus in the Pacific over a number of years but it has been in the last 18 months that we have been able to actively be on the ground working with local businesses, to find the business models and methods that will allow them to take their businesses to the next level.

Our focus in the Pacific is to work on projects impacting three key areas:

  • Improvements in peoples’ livelihoods
  • Increased value add in country
  • Responsible environmental management

 

Having worked with over 100 businesses in the Pacific and now working across Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji we have no doubt that there are exciting things ahead in these countries and that there will be wonderful exemplar projects that emerge with many lessons for all of us on how we transition from aid reliance to sustainable and commercially viable trade.

If we can be part of helping shift to a more sustainable model that takes government and other grant based funding and uses it in a targeted and catalytic way to address the gaps in businesses; then build them up to a point where they are then able to attract private capital, to grow and strengthen their impact in the world I will be a very happy woman!

Leveraging private capital for public good has been one of my driving themes for many years now and nowhere is this getting more traction than in the work we’re doing in the Pacific. Watch this space!

Spread the love

9 Mindsets of my Favourite Difference Makers

TDi Senior Consultant Isaac Jeffries shares the philosophies and habits that are the hallmarks of his favourite difference-makers.

This is a concrete list of practices and mindsets for working in community, and maintaining connection to people without burning out or burning others.

Bilum: The Power of Story to Drive Inclusive Economic Growth

by Annie Smits, TDi CEO   In May this year we attended the first official public screening of The Bilum Story, hosted by the AUS-PNG Network at The Lowy Institute in Sydney. Before the screening, I introduced the film to a crowded room, by bringing to the fore a...

Why We Need More Coaches and Fewer ‘Experts’ in International Development

By Kate Wilson, TDi Associate   An intuitive mindset coach and mentor, Kate's insight and expertise is so valuable to our team – we hope it will be for you too. This post was originally published on Kate's website, Resources Reimagined and explores the vital role...

Reconciliation Week 2022: Wrestling with our role in the Indigenous Business Sector

Anna Moegerlein, Deputy CEO, TDi In light of National Reconciliation Week, TDi’s Deputy CEO Anna shares some of the unfolding story around our work in the Indigenous Business sector: What are the challenges we are wrestling with as an organisation, what are our...

Introducing: Accelerate with IBA 2022 Cohort

Our 'Accelerate with IBA' Showcase on April 7 was a great success. It's been an incredible six-month journey as we partnered with Indigenous Business Australia once again to equip a new cohort of business owners to grow, learn new skills, and explore their social...

Meeting Uncertainty and Crisis with Curiosity

Anthea Smits, TDi CEO   I’m going to be honest; I had a rough start to 2022.   We endured a bout of coronavirus in January, followed by a series of personal crises. Each of these would have been manageable on their own, but one after the other, at a time when...

5 Minutes with Difference Maker Tammy: Ethical Innovation in First Nations Fashion

The challenges of ethical production in the fashion industry are many, but they lead to innovation and creative problem solving. We sat down with Difference Maker Tammy Saville and discussed the joys and challenges of starting her own children’s label, and how the IBA Accelerator is providing practical assistance in helping her meet her social impact goals. 

Mindset in Entrepreneurship

Anna Moegerlein, Deputy CEO TDi I’ve been at TDi for almost six years, and in that time I’ve worked with about 120 entrepreneurs. The one thing I’ve seen, over and over, is that we all get tripped up by our own mindsets. Our mindset has a big impact on our success in...

Meet Difference Maker, Ruth

Ruth has worked closely with us on several projects including the Laikim Sister program, as well as our ongoing work with bilum.

Holiday Recommendations – 21/22

Looking for some reading, listening or watching recommendations for the holiday season?Throughout the year, in our Newsletter, we have shared various recommendations for reading, listening and watching. We share some of these below that you might like to enjoy over...