In many countries around the Investors have pledged more

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					BUSINESS NEWS                                                                                                       OUT AND AB
OPEN FOR BUSINESS                                                                                               GOING NORTH
SAMOA: With the launch of a new venture capital fund Samoan
companies are getting the financing they need to grow.


    nvestors have pledged more        and prudential requirements of     management consultancy and
    than US$1 million to a new        commercial banks.’ The fund is     financial advisory company, KVA

                                                                                                                    n many countries around the
    Samoan venture capital fund.      timely for local export-oriented   Consult. Venture Capital Partners
                                                                                                                    world, denial and indifference
Small to medium-size businesses,      firms seeking to take advantage    is backed by ING Investment
                                                                                                                    about HIV/AIDS persists. In
with good growth potential but        of new opportunities coming        Management, which is part of the
                                                                                                                Australia, the comparatively low
which are presently starved of risk   with the creation of the Pacific   ING Group of the Netherlands,
                                                                                                                infection rates mean many citizens
capital, will now have a chance to    Island Countries Trade Agreement   one of the world’s largest financial
                                                                                                                are not well informed about the
meet their goals.                     (PICTA).                           services companies.
                                                                                                                extent of the global crisis.
    The new fund is backed by            The fund has been developed         ‘We believe we can offer a
                                                                                                                    Yet more than 2.7 million
the World Bank Group’s private        with strong support from the       unique perspective on this kind of
                                                                                                                children under 15 years have the
sector arm, International Finance     Pacific Enterprise Development     funding,’ says Managing Director
                                                                                                                virus today and millions more
Corporation (IFC), along with         Facility (PEDF), an IFC-managed    of Venture Capital Partners,
                                                                                                                are at risk. At least 13.2 million
the Government of Samoa, the          technical assistance program for   David Gemmell. ‘Our challenge
                                                                                                                children – most of them in Africa
European Investment Bank, the         the Pacific islands, Papua New     is to ensure local companies can
                                                                                                                – have lost one or both parents to
Asian Development Bank, ANZ           Guinea and East Timor. The         grow, remain viable and generate
                                                                                                                AIDS. According to UNAIDS, the
Bank, and the National Bank           organisation, based in Sydney,     a return for our investors. This
                                                                                                                number is expected to grow to
of Samoa. AusAID is providing         receives funding from AusAID.      is an important pilot and if we
                                                                                                                40 million by 2010.
funding for administrative set-up        ‘The key to getting the fund    can make it work, there could be
                                                                                                                    The photographic exhibition
costs. The fund is designed to        together was finding the right     bigger things in the future.’
                                                                                                                positive.negative, which continues
finance local businesses that are     fund managers. We are very
                                                                                                                its tour around regional Australia,
either too small or considered        pleased with the results of our    Rob Wright/IFC <>
                                                                                                                highlights the serious problem
too risky to attract conventional     efforts,’ says Rob Simms, PEDF’s
                                                                                                                of HIV/AIDS in the Asia-Pacific.
financial institutions.               finance industry specialist. ‘We   ABOVE: Small and medium-size
                                                                                                                It's also informing viewers
    Samoa’s acting Prime Minister     have a management structure        businesses have a chance to realise
                                                                                                                about AusAID programs in HIV
and Minister of Finance, Misa         which brings together the skills   their goals. Photos: Trevor Watson
                                                                                                                awareness, prevention and caring
Telefoni, announced the launch        of a large international venture
                                                                                                                for those living with the disease.
of the fund in Apia earlier this      capital firm and the knowledge
                                                                                                                So far it’s been seen by more than
year. It’s his vision the fund        and expertise of a local Samoan
                                                                                                                two million Australians.
will ‘introduce into Samoa a          company.’
                                                                                                                    At a recent stop in Normanston
more creative financing for              The fund will be jointly
                                                                                                                in far north Queensland, Julie
expansion of existing businesses      managed by Sydney-based Venture
                                                                                                                and Simon Goode, managers
beyond the normal collateral          Capital Partners and the Samoan
                                                                                                                of the travelling exhibition, met


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