Wise Foundation believes there is a lot of latent potential in the Pacific for small and medium-sized industries to develop and become the backbone of countries in the Pacific. So Pacific Rise – to us- gives voice to that opportunity and we wanted to look at that potential for us to engage with Pacific Rise, and other programs in the Pacific, to do that.

Alex McDonald, Wise Foundation

Samoan and Fijian entrepreneurs identified as the first enterprises to benefit from Pacific RISE.


Approximately 20 Samoan and Fijian small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) working in agriculture and tourism sectors will receive access to intensive business support, training and opportunities to network as part of Pacific RISE’s pilot scoping round funding allocations.  In November 2016, Pacific RISE ran a pilot call for scoping proposals with six organisations (intermediaries) to apply for funding to assist in identifying investment opportunities in the Pacific. Seven proposals were received, with two being successful in their applications.

One of the successful proposals was led by Social Outcomes, an organisation that specialises in the design and implementation of social impact models.  Social Outcomes partnered with the Wise Foundation — an organisation whose core mission is ‘to strengthen communities through assisting the creation of innovative economic models’ — to identify small and medium size businesses and social enterprises in Samoa and work with them using the Business Canvas Model.

Demonstrating an understanding of the importance of networks when working in the Pacific, their proposal also includes engaging with the Samoan-based Women in Business Development organisation.  They facilitate a central facilitation hub for many SMEs and social enterprises who are based in, and run by Samoans.

The second proposal to receive funding was submitted by The Difference Incubator, also known as TDI.  Working with five identified businesses in Fiji, primarily in the agricultural sector, their proposal includes building business capacity (using the Strategyzers Business  Model Canvas); understanding investment and investor requirements; and learning how to measure social impact.

Both funded proposals will incorporate gender lens investing practices throughout their activities.

Pacific RISE ran the pilot round to capitalise on the initial interest in the Pacific from investors and intermediaries during the design consultations of Pacific RISE.

For more information about Pacific RISE, or to express interest in participating in future scoping rounds contact info@PacificRISE.org.