SHE is a fighter - the fact that she is cancer survivor will not be a barrier to her expanding her community canteen business into a gas station.
Verenaisi Ravudra, 39, remains optimistic that the $4000 incentive given by Micro Finance Fiji to expand her business is her seed to a fruitful future.
Despite the effect of the floods in the Western Division, Ms Ravudra who resides in Dratabu Village in Nadi believes that starting small is thinking big.
"I started with a community canteen business two weeks ago because there was no shop in our area," she said.
"We had to travel seven kilometres to get to Nadi Town and there was a shop run by an Indo-Fijian family that was four kilometres away. This has inspired me to start a canteen business so that people don't walk a long distance to buy food," she said.
Ms Ravudra was diagnosed with cancer two years ago. "This will not stop me from my dream of expanding my business," she said.
The canteen business is not just a starting point for Ms Ravudra as she has been selling imported clothes and bedding from the US.
However, she discovered her business was not successful as customers were not consistent.
"People need food to survive and that idea inspired to switch from selling clothes and bedding to starting a canteen.
"I then noticed a change, I started getting money every day and now my business is consistent.
"I have been a great help to my community during the flood because people had been coming in to buy foodstuff from my canteen. I have a vision to expand my business to a gas station and I know I can do it with the support of my husband and also microfinance," she said.
Ms Ravudra highlighted that living in an iTaukei community was a challenge and sometimes she had to reject people buying her stuff on credit because "this leads to her business downfall".
She is part of the eight individuals that were given $4000 to start their business after the Fiji Council of Social Services entrepreneurship training in February.
The training that was conducted in Suva and Lautoka was to improve the standard of living of people in community, reduce poverty through self-employment, provide opportunity for people at grassroots level to become entrepreneurs and promote sustainability through income generation.