The CACCI Foundation for Entrepreneurship and SME Development was established during the 40th Anniversary celebration of CACCI in Taipei in November 2006.
Its creation was deemed one of the legacies of CACCI as the Confederation entered its fifth decade of existence.
The primary objective of the Foundation is to help chambers in developing countries around the Asia-Pacific region to become sustained contributors to the economic development of the private sector.
Contributions to the Foundation will be used to support capacity-building activities aimed at promoting the growth and development of entrepreneurs and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region. These activities could include providing training and scholarship programs that would enable SMEs to improve and upgrade their financial, technical, management and marketing skills, as well as deepen their understanding of the regional and global markets.
CACCI funded projects
Since it was established in 2006, the CACCI Foundation has funded three projects of aimed at promoting the development of entrepreneurship. These three projects include the following:
I. The Youth Business Sri Lanka (YBSL) Program
The YBSL program supports enterprising youths (aged between 18 and 35 years) who have viable business plans but do not have collateral to raise funds. The assistance given is in the form of a concessionary credit facility for business start up and expansion. The initial credit assistance is limited to a maximum of 50,000 rupees (approximately US$500) and to be paid back in 12 months.
The YBSL is an accredited program of the Youth Business International based in the United Kingdom, a charity dedicated to supporting young entrepreneurs and is the leadership body for a network of youth business programs implemented in 40 countries. The YSBL Secretariat is at the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
The initial assistance from the CACCI Foundation given to the YBSL programme was in Jaffna district of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka (with ten women entrepreneurs and five youths as beneficiaries). It has recently been extended to Anuradhapura in the North Central Province to support young entrepreneurs in the area.
2. Life Forever Beautiful-Organic Mongolia” Project
The “Life Forever Beautiful-Organic Mongolia” project of the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MNCCI) aims to support, through micro-lending, organic agricultural producers and farming communities at micro and small levels. Under this program, MNCCI renders loan up to 2.0-10.00 million tugrugs (approximately US$1,400 to US$7,000) to functioning small and medium enterprises and to those who plan to set up their own businesses.
The MNCCI has established the “Together Against Poverty” Foundation to render loan to low income households and to provide them with an opportunity to improve their livelihood and establish their own businesses. Towards this end, the MNCCI organized in 2008 a business reality show called “Life Forever Beautiful.” Broadcasted by Education Channel TV, the show has become a unique and efficient tool in motivating and empowering the minds of the target group and generating entrepreneurial ideas and actions among the micro and small business communities.
As the second phase of this activity, the MNCCI in 2009 started its micro lending program under the theme “Organic Mongolia” to support organic producers and farming communities at micro and small levels.
The specific beneficiary of the financial assistance from the CACCI Foundation Fund is the project dedicated to supplying yak’s milk from the herders of Bat-Ulzii sum/province into milk production, with the view to creating a foundation for farming for milk production. Under the project, 8 permanent sample groupings (out of a target of 10) have been formed to serve as examples to the other herders and to encourage their cooperation. Training on milk safety has been conducted for members of the 8 groupings. Milk production equipment as well as packaging materials have also been purchased.
3. Project on Promoting Women Entrepreneurship Through Development of SMEs
The primary objective of the project of submitted by Barisal Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) is to assist in the entrepreneurial development of women, especially the less fortunate ones, in Barisal, which is an old port located some 353 kilometers from Dhaka in southern Bangladesh.
The beneficiary project will mainly include providing capacity-building in entrepreneurship to some 160 women entrepreneurs in Barisal within a period of six months. The estimated cost for the project is about US$5,000.