The Businesses of Salafai Association (B.O.S.A) celebrated a huge milestone on Friday night.
It was the launch of their first Strategic Plan since the inception of the Association in 2011.
Held at the Don Bosco Multipurpose Hall at Salelologa, the momentous occasion was well attended by Ministers of Cabinet, members of the business community in Savai’i and their families.
The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Purcell, congratulated B.O.S.A and highlighted the importance of proper planning to allow a business to grow.
“Planning ahead is very important. If you don’t have a plan, then it’s just a waste of time."
“That is why I am happy to be here for this celebration. This is a huge step forward for the Association of Businesses in Savai’i.”
A strategic plan, he said, provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals.
“It can be a tool that is useful for guiding day-to-day decisions and also for evaluating progress and changing approaches when moving forward.”
He urged members of the Association to make good use of the Plan.
“I encourage you all to use and follow this strategic plan and work together in unity to achieve your goals, visions and missions."
“That can be done when we all work together and help one another.”
He said the government stands ready to help facilitate the growth of small businesses.
“I am truly a believer that the development and the well-being of a country depends on you, the business community. We can all start small, and we can all get to the top if we join our hearts together as one.”
The President of B.O.S.A, PipiTevitaTariu, said the launch is an important step for the Association, reflecting on their journey thus far.
“B.O.S.A was founded in 2011 with the aim to empower and enhance the capacity of small business in Savai’i,” said Pipi.
“And like anything new in life, it wasn’t easy in the beginning. There are also some hurdles that we need to overcome, but that is why tonight’s celebration is very crucial."
“We are here tonight to launch our Strategic Plan for 2017-2021. For your information, since the association was established, there was no plan.”
The launch of the Strategic plan is an achievement.
“Like I said before, things were not easy in the beginning. There was no plan to guide the work that we do and it made it difficult for our members to come together."
“One of the main challenges we’ve had over the years is trying to bring our members together. It was a challenge for us as the ones with big businesses were hard to get along with small businesses; the old ones did not get along with the new comers. Things like that made things hard for us.”
But with the Plan, Pipi is positive that things will only get better.
“This is the beginning of more exciting things for our association. Another challenge we have been facing is the fact that we don’t have our own office to operate our work."
“We keep some our stuff at the S.B.E.C’s office, but that will change once we move to our own office next month.”
Pipi said the plan has been designed to be practical, not to just sit and gather dust on a table. He is also realistic about the expectations.
“We are made up of eighty five (85) members, and although all members are not active all the time, I know for a fact that the one unique feature that is found in all of us is that we are all passionate about what we do."
“That, I am sure of. And passion is a great thing, it has brought us to where we are now and I believe that it will drive us forward.
“You know we may have limited resources and limited funding available, but our members are very determined to go the extra mile.
“We all have a strong passion to develop and do great things not only for us but also for Savaii."
“Our main focus is for our members to grow and learn from each other, help one another and also build strong relationship so we can provide better services to our people and customers."
“It is also our hope to have more members and to also grow as an association so we can benefit from it. Not only today, but for tomorrow and the years to come.”
Pipi also took the opportunity to thank the government of Samoa for their support over the years.
He acknowledged their consultant, Su’a Donald Leumaga, who was the mastermind behind the B.O.S.A’s Strategic Plan 2017-2021.
B.O.S.A was incorporated in 2011 and has an active Board of Directors who manages the operation of the organisation on a voluntary basis.