$40,000 grant – Women entrepreneurs to benefit

From left - British High Commission Suva regional Manager Pacifi c Commonwealth Marine Economies Programme Amitesh Prasad, WEBC chairperson Eseta Nadakuitavuki, British Deputy High Commissioner Paul Welsh with FCEF president Vinay Narsey during the grant signing in Suva. Picture: ABISHEK CHAND

The Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) has been granted $40,000 to assist and support women entrepreneurs to learn more in the areas of running a business especially in this uncertain time.

According to WEBC chairperson Eseta Nadakuitavuki, the partnership with the British High Commission came at a time when women entrepreneurs were transiting through a lot during the pandemic, where they have closed shop, pivot and diversify their business to survive and keep their head above water.

“As we ventured into this journey of learning and women economic empowerment, we are also to the journey of fulfilling our vision of Women Entrepreneurs Invigorating the Nation and leaving no one behind.

“We will also adhere to the requirements and ensure that we monitor the progress of the training from the recipients to see their progress and how else we can assist and support them with going forward.

“We have already started with our activities, the first being an information/networking session in nadi three weeks ago, as well as a six week toastmaster training has started and others will follow.”

WEBC has ventured into various activities one of which is toastmasters training to build their confidence in marketing their business.

“And also the funding is not only for the WEBC financial members but it is also to increase the reach out to the unfortunate ones and bridging the gap between the informal and formal sector.”

The council will also be providing social media marketing training, as according to Ms Nadakuitavuki this was the platform for women to sell and do training for their activities.

The council would also be providing basic and intermediate training.

The council president added the value chain was part of the activities from this funding and also getting the members to understand the international trade terms and conditions together with business mentoring.

British Deputy High Commissioner to Fiji, Paul Welsh said, throughout the world women tended to be affected by economic downturns disproportionately.

“One of the reasons that we wanted to support this was this particular focus on training not just women entrepreneurs, but particular focus on rural women,” he said.

“Rural women are often amongst the most marginalised in society anyway and the COVID challenges that I’ve described, no doubt been immense, as they’ve struggled to earn enough money to put food on the table for their families.

“There are many reasons why it is important to provide rural and marginalised women with the knowledge, skills and support necessary to become successful entrepreneurs and to make informed financial decisions.”

Mr Welsh said this project was not only about empowering women entrepreneurs with business skills, it’s also about giving them life skills.

“Giving rural women the opportunity to build their confidence, take informed risks, learn to make presentations and to unleash tremendous potential that every human being has, if given information, advice, and the right set of circumstances and I think it’s also about changing mindsets.”

More Stories