New partnership will support Fiji women to build ECEC businesses
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > New partnership will support women in Fiji to establish ECEC services

New partnership will support women in Fiji to establish ECEC services

by Freya Lucas

December 29, 2023

A new partnership has been established to support aspiring women entrepreneurs in Fiji interested in establishing and operating their own early childhood education and care (ECEC) businesses. 


The partnership between ESCAP, the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation (FCEF) and the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) launched on 14 December with the launch of the Care Catalyst: Micro Business Women’s Childcare Incubation Programme.


The comprehensive six-month training initiative will equip participants with the necessary skills, knowledge and opportunities for increased access to finance and support to establish sustainable and successful ECEC ventures that meet the increasing demand for quality ECEC services in Fiji as well as contributing to the overall development of early childhood education.


By and large, women the world over bear the burden of unpaid care work, which can impact their participation in the formal labour market, impede economic empowerment, and undermine their overall socio-economic status.


Fijian women comprise just 34 per cent of the labour force while they carry out 73 per cent of the unpaid household work. The care economy is a significant contributor to the Asia-Pacific economy. Recognising and valuing this work is crucial for sustainable and inclusive economic development, and an important component of promoting women’s empowerment and gender equality.


Through supporting the development of childcare businesses in Fiji, the incubation programme is expected to have a significant impact on the country’s economy and society, providing working parents, especially working mothers, including women entrepreneurs, with access to affordable and quality childcare services.


The training programme will be open to 15 participants passionate about childcare entrepreneurship. Priority will be given to women from marginalized communities and those with limited access to business training and resources. The strongest three participants will be provided with seed grants of US$1000.


The initiative is implemented in the context of ESCAP’s Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) programme, which supports women’s entrepreneurship in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Nepal, Samoa and Viet Nam, with funding from Global Affairs Canada. The incubation programme builds on successful CWE initiatives at the regional level, applying the approach at the local level, working directly with women entrepreneurs in the care economy.

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