15 shop owners participated in a recent Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) accounting training conducted by the Department of Cooperatives.
Senior training officer of the Department of Cooperatives, Lentz Vusilai, said five out of the 15 participants were women.
Mr. Vusilai said in regards to MSME, the informal sector includes handicraft, sewing and food vendors.
He explained that when it comes to training, they try to train groups of people within the same sector as the system must fit that particular sector, for example sewing is different from fishing so they would require different, specific accounting trainings.
Last year, Mr Vusilai conducted a similar training for the handicraft ladies in Port Vila as well with the Malampa Handicraft ladies.
Twenty-four women attended on Malekula and 36 attended in Port Vila.
Vusilai says they concentrated on the basics of running a small business, such as costing, pricing and they also touched on a bit of accounting, mainly receipting, invoicing, cash books and monthly reconciliation.
One of the Port Vila handicraft ladies, Liza Garo said she really enjoyed the training given by the department.
Being in the tourism-related business for 15 years, she said before COVID-19, there were a lot of tourists and they had consistent income.
Mrs Garo says she never attended such courses because she always assumed income would be generated the next day if she spends the day’s earnings.
The mother of four says COVID-19 was an eyeopener for her as she knew managing money was important. She is thankful that she attended the course at the right time.
The 40-year-old said the training not only help with her handicraft business but it is also helping the operations of her son’s shop at their residence in Ohlen Whitewood. It also helps with her road market sales as she sells, cabbage, capsicums and lettuce which she grows in her backyard from which she earns approximately VT15,000 per week.
Mrs Garo said the training has paid off and she is looking forward to the borders reopening because she believes she will manage things better than before, as a result of the MSME training.