Tufa Pasifika: Pilot Program
The Tufa Pasifika program was designed as a ‘pilot’, a participatory action-oriented process aimed at identifying opportunities and obstacles to the purpose of ‘growing Pasifika business in Logan City’. It was designed around fortnightly-cycling workshops on foundational business skills and informal talanoa exchanges, both online and in person. The Pilot project was powered by Homebase, Yunus Centre, Griffith University and led by Executive in Residence Michael Doneman and Community Coordinator Sarai Tafa.
The Tufa pilot project has succeeded as a model for social-cultural and economic access, participation, and empowerment through a grass roots social enterprise development process. Beginning with outreach and connection through the Homebase Cultivate program, the project has generated substantial interest within the Logan City Pasifika communities and the Pasifika diaspora around SE Queensland, with some promising connectivity nationally and internationally (Aotearoa New Zealand). The program has generated a new social enterprise, Tufa Business further enabling business development in Pasifika and CALD communities.
Access: the project has engaged a wide and diverse group of Pasifika startup-stage businesses and their families (as well as ‘proto-startups’) in Logan City and beyond. Online connectivity has proved to be a key element of this reach.
Participation: the project has provided a platform for developing existing capacity (e.g. in the Pasifika Young Peoples Wellbeing Network) and has engaged confidence among early stage business people (‘stand up before you start up’) and culturally sensitive and highly practical skill building for early stage enterprises. The Pasifika ‘grapevine’ is powerful and pervasive. There have been several instances of people ‘dipping their toes’ into the project (one young man attending a university campus for the first time in his life), which have been captured for follow-through into the new year as the TP business firms up.
Empowerment: To be displayed and celebrated at a capstone event, Fiafia, offered at GU Logan Campus on 2ndDecember, the project has demonstrated the capacity of Logan City Pasifika organisers and activists to step up and manage events of substantial scope, and the capacity to take project outcomes forward into self-determined and viable social enterprise activity. PYPWN (Pasifika Young People’s Wellness Network) and Community Organiser Sarai Tafa have been key to this. The provision by Homebase of a modest fee for her services located the project immediately in a ‘business’ rather than ‘community service’ context, a value that has not gone unnoticed.
An evidenced business case for a new support network/organisation/business for Pasifika startups (and stand ups)
A documented model for seeding and growing a Pasifika business support network (esp. in the context of Homebase, an innovative social enterprise incubator)
New Pasifika startups, projects and partnerships
Increased cultural confidence in the business environment