Samoa Business Hub (SBH) provides their client enterprises with business training, advisory services and a business loan guarantee scheme in partnership with the local commercial banks and the Development Bank of Samoa.
At the onset of the pandemic, SBH saw the majority of their clients’ businesses being negatively impacted by the border closures and lockdown measures that came into place. In order to develop an appropriate response, they performed an impact and needs assessment survey with their clients to better understand the challenges they were facing.
Equipped with that information, the team at SBH took the time to review their existing activities and instead of rushing into creating something new and temporary, saw an opportunity to build on their existing programming to better support their clients to respond, recover and build from the impacts of the pandemic. They decided to invest time and resources in redesigning their main ‘cohort program’, which existed as a default program their clients would automatically get added to when they registered with SBH. Optional in nature, it focussed on providing loan management support to their 586 client enterprises, and was in the most part underutilised.
Through the SFI Response Program, they redesigned the structure and governance of the program, expanding the focus of the support to include business resilience coaching and networking events. To ensure the quality of the program, they developed a manual that formalised the roles of the cohort executives who lead the cohort program, and performed capacity building with the 76 key stakeholders involved in delivering it, including their team, trainers and the executives. The new cohort program, which has been launched, involves monthly cohort meetings, mentorship and networking events called ‘market days’. The first market day was held in early 2021, involving 192 stakeholders ranging from enterprises to experts and mentors, and focussed on digital inclusion.
This now forms part of their core programming and support provided to any existing and new enterprises that engage with their services moving forward. For SBH, this program also allows them to better identify and support their members who are in arrears, as well as prevent businesses becoming in arrears, and capturing more stories as part of their M&E. In doing so, it contributes to SBH’s resilience in being able to manage crises.
Forming strong partnerships, whether it be in program delivery, funding or networking, to continue to add value to their client enterprises.
If you would like to learn more about Samoa Business Hub or have any questions, feel free to send us an email.
Rosemary ToneSend message