Changing the way women market vendors do business

Dec 3, 2013

Some of the women market vendors during the launch. Credit: Setaita Tavanabola/UNDP

Rakiraki market vendors showed great appreciation for their newly launched business record keeping book tailored to their needs. The book allows them to keep track of their income, expenses and savings.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprises Development (NCSMED) and Rakiraki Town Council, officially launched the Business Record Keeping Book for Market Vendors last Friday at the new Rakiraki Municipal Market Facility.

This is part of a UNDP capacity building programme targeting women market vendors, aimed at improving their financial literacy and small business management skills.

UNDP Pacific Regional MDGs Specialist Asif Chida said, “This isn’t a book designed by financial controllers but by market vendors to help them make informed decisions. This is just a small tool to help them become more economically empowered.”

“Based on a needs assessment and the cooperation and support of NCSMED, the Rakiraki Town Council and the local Government, together with the market vendors, we were able to design a practical, hands-on book.”

A draft version of the Business Record Book Keeping Book for Market Vendors was piloted for three months by the vendors in Rakiraki and revised based on feedback from the users.

Iva Marama who has been a market vendor for 20 years found the booklet a very useful tool.

“Before, I faced many problems as I was one of those that buy and sell without recording anything but since the training, I have learned many things about doing business, about budgeting and the importance of record keeping,” she said.

“I thank UNDP and NCSMED for helping us learn about recording keeping and I encourage my fellow market vendors to get into this system of recording your daily business.”

“We feel privileged that the women market vendors have received a booklet designed by them. This booklet is very useful, informative and something we can use for a long time,” Rohini Nand another market vendor said.

“Even though we are small businesses, using this booklet is a very good business practice. We are grateful for this initiative,” she said.

Speaking to the market vendors, Ra Provincial Administrator Sitiveni Tavaga said the book is a system made to work and benefit small businesses in so many ways.

“Record keeping will help you plan more efficiently; it can help you meet legal and tax requirements; it can measure your profits and your performance; it can generate meaningful reports from your records; you can protect your vendors’ rights, and it can manage potential business risk,” he said.

“I hope this book will bring about positive impacts in your daily business activities and the economic growth of our Rakiraki town.”

Additionally, with basic financial skills the Business Record Keeping Book will enable market vendors to make informed financial decisions such as the cost of doing business, purchases, sales and profits among others.

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