Pacific women rising in business sector

Angel Stowers and Annabelle Ryan - KOKITI Workshops. Photo/ PMN.

AUCKLAND, 05 JULY 2018 (PACIFIC RADIO NEWS) — The success of Pacific women entrepreneurs was highlighted at the biannual National Pacific Business Trust Awards held in Auckland last week.

Four young women took home the Pacific Impact Award for their social enterprise, KOKITI Workshops, which offers Pacific art and well-being workshops to children between the ages of 5 and 14.

One of the founders, Annabelle Ryan says the recognition is a lot to take in.

“We still can’t believe it’s happened. Our category was so hard and the people that are in it are so amazing and the legacy we hope to live up to it.”

Ryan said the Pacific Business Trust has played a huge role in their success and she hopes more entrepreneurs access the same service and support.

“It’s intimidating for sure but… they’re humble, they’re down-to-earth and that’s who you need to be around.”

The Pacific Woman in Business Award went to Rachel Lewis, the founder of marketing consultancy business Devitising Marketing.

World-renowned choreographer and dancer Parris Goebel stole the show winning the inaugural Pacific Legacy Award for her services to the community.

She said she was humbled to be acknowledged by her Pacific people.

“When I work in the industry, I just want to represent and I want to bring my people with me. I’m always talking about where I’m from and my culture.”

Chair of the Pacific Business Trust, Fa’amatuainu Tino Pereira, said he was impressed with the high calibre of finalists this year.

He said the future looks bright for Pacific businesses and hopes the community make the most of the opportunities out there.

“Pursue the dream, use every avenue in your waking hour to pursue that dream. It’s not easy, but we have the talent and the creativity and the support of the wider family to make it happen, said Pereira.