ABOUT 11,000 people are still looking for income-generating opportunities in Fiji.
This was revealed by former International Labour Organisation South Pacific director Abu Mohammed Zakaria at the Nausori Town Council Micro Business Workshop last week.
Mr Zakaria said micro businesses were equally important in a country's economy.
"Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) contributed more than 60 per cent in Fiji's GDP. 84 per cent of the people in the workforce are employed in SME with the other 16 per cent employed by big companies."
He said the people needed regulatory direct support to start their small businesses and also needed to be aware of the social responsibilities of business and their contribution to the decent work agenda.
Nausori Town Council administrator Napolioni Masirewa told participants the workshop was part of the continued process of dialogue in the country on a micro enterprise development.
The increase in population and the never ending unemployment rate in Nausori triggered the Town Council administration to organise such workshops to educate participants on the importance of small businesses.
And stakeholders including market vendors, the development facilitators and many other individuals and organisations were invited to help in the promotion of small business in the town. "People of Nausori should not just sit idly by and expect the business to come to them. They should take advantage of the growth in infrastructure to develop their own little businesses," Mr Masirewa said.
He said investment would grow if the climate for it grows and it was through the interaction of such small investments that a climate for bigger ones to be created would come.
"We should not be deterred by the coming of big businesses as if to render useless the efforts of small ones.
"Rather we should find the appropriate niche through which we can survive the competition. That is the hallmark of any business development," he said.
He said at the end of the day, one would expect a set of regulations made to enable cleaner direction for micro-enterprises development in Nausori.