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LESSONS:

Samoa: Small Business Development Project

sector: Industry and Trade | country: Samoa

To improve the prospects for successful project implementation, achieving the desired outcomes and outputs, and maintaining sustainability in the medium term: (i) the focus and selection of project components must consider the developmental context of the country and its absorptive capacity; and (ii) preparedness and viability of proposed component, including likelihood of their adoption by obtaining firm upfront commitments from the parties that champion their promotion, must be ascertained. Under the Small Business Development Project in Samoa, the latter does not appear to have been done on one of its components, Venture Capital Fund (VCF). The report and recommendation of the president was more of a description of what the proposed VCF would look like. Many loose ends, including critical issues such as shareholder contributions, choice of the fund manager and key staff, and tax liability, were left to be sorted out during implementation which took time for resolution, and the VCF was closed without doing any business after determining that it was unlikely to be financially viable. [Main text, pages 7-8]

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