FIJI as a state and as an economy can only thrive if there are entrepreneurs.
In his address at the Fiji Development Bank (FDB) Small Business Awards in Suva on Thursday night, President Ratu Epeli Nailatikau said entrepreneurs were people who were willing to take risks and had the courage to establish a business.
He reminded small business operators the importance of small businesses on the development of the country and its contribution to the country's economy.
"Small businesses like these that you have ventured into are vehicles of change for our people and our economy," Ratu Epeli said. He said it also created opportunities for wealth and for employment.
"They reduce poverty and help to utilise the resources that would otherwise have remained undeveloped, and the incomes and the earnings derived from such enterprises help to provide for a "better life" as it were, for families and communities," Ratu Epeli said.
He said the expansion of any economic enterprise however, depended very much on the ability of that enterprise to enter the formal economic system.
FDB chief executive officer Deve Toganivalu said entrepreneurs in Fiji flourished like weeds in the least likely of places.