TDi in the Pacific

February 23, 2016

So, what are TDi doing in the Pacific? Recently, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) implemented a new strategy in how they approach aid and development. They recognised that to achieve effective and sustainable reduction in poverty there must be a plan for sustainable economic growth.

TDi, having had experience in developing Investable Social Enterprises (ISEs) within an Australian context, were engaged by DFAT to put forward a pilot program in
 the Pacific to test how building capacity and growing ISEs could work in a development context. The challenge of bridging the gap from ‘aid to trade’ can be resolved through the development of investable enterprises that are able to attract private capital and move away from grant reliance. To achieve this, catalytic granting and the right capacity building are essential.

Our pilot initially focused on Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga. We began our work with a Community Asset Assessment, working in local communities at a grass roots level to understand the local context from a strengths-based approach. We were working to discover under-utilised assets – both raw materials, potential products and entrepreneurs themselves.

 

“TDi is the best donor-funded private sector development initiative I have witnessed in the Pacific over the last 20 years, and it’s sustainable”

– Caleb Jarvis, Pacific Islands Trade Commissioner

 

So what have we learnt? First and foremost we found an incredibly rich environment, from the volcanic soil to the perfect weather conditions; they can grow just about anything (acknowledging, of course, the cyclones that will appear every couple of years). We’ve encountered entrepreneurs who are trying to carve out a future for themselves, their families and their communities. However, they need support, encouragement and some fundamentals built into their businesses. There are incredible opportunities available through focusing on in-country value added to locally produced oils, cocoa and coffee. We’ve also encountered the well-known challenges that exist in the Pacific such as land ownership disputes, the frequency of cyclones and natural disasters which affect agricultural opportunities. And finally, the difficulty local businesses face when trying to access finance, to allow them to grow or scale.

 

“What I like about TDi is that their approach could really redefine the way that donor agencies provide support across the Pacific Islands region”.

— Caleb Jarvis, Australian Trade Commissioner, Pacific Islands

 

In Tonga we’ve focused on the latter stages of our method, helping enterprises develop investable business models. In the coming months, we will be announcing our first investment in a local Tongan business, testing out what investment can look like in this region.

Our objective in this work is to prove that effective aid and development work needs to partner closely with economic development, to create sustainable futures and reduce grant reliance for the world’s poorest. Ultimately this is about mums and dads being able to access health and education for their children, and about families not being reliant on foreign aid, but instead having the opportunity to build their own future with dignity and respect

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...