Making markets work in Solomon Islands
Despite its substantial economic potential, the Solomon Islands remains one of the poorest countries in the Pacific. High operating costs, high transportation costs, dispersed geography of the archipelago, thin market, low export volumes and low human resource capacity hamper the Solomon Islands’ efforts to promote domestic and international investment and drive economic growth.
The Project/what we are doing about this challenge:
Strongim Bisnis is working to address the root causes of market dysfunction and drive economic growth, resilience and inclusion for the Solomon Islands and its people. Strongim Bisnis focuses on the key sectors of cocoa, coconut, financial services, horticulture, timber, tourism and waste management. The program’s cross-cutting approach to women’s economic empowerment and social inclusion ensures that women, youth and people with disabilities benefit from initiatives implemented in each sector, and they can participate formally in the economy.
ASI manages a team of local and international advisors who are working with businesses, government and organisations in these sectors to increase their productivity by helping them access more income-earning opportunities and higher-value markets. ASI provides innovative business models and market insights, linking key players together, facilitating access to financing and fostering a better business enabling environment. By piloting, experimenting, and partnering with a wide range of organisations, Strongim Bisnis has quickly learned and adapted solutions to best facilitate change in the Solomon Islands’ unique context.
What the project has achieved so far / intends to achieve:
- Introduced the Market Systems Development approach in Solomon Islands and tested new, innovative business models and strategies for facilitating market change and driving sustainable economic growth.
- 56 and counting partnerships with businesses, government and non-government entities in Solomon Islands to provide technical advice, leverage funds and create networks to change how markets operate.
- Increased number of women, youth and people with disabilities with higher economic opportunities, greater access and control over household and community resources, receiving capacity building support.
- Rapidly pivoted and added activities to partnerships to assist organisations and Solomon Islands respond to and recover from impacts of COVID-19. Strongim Bisnis partnered with Solomon Islands Government Ministry of Culture and Tourism to procure and distribute COIVD-19 PPE to tourism operators across the country in preparation for re-opening of international borders in July 2022.
Strongim Bisnis has worked with partners to import their access to and participate in the value-added products and export markets. More than AUD865,000 worth of exports facilitated and almost AUD690,000 worth of value-added products sold since the start of the program.