The first Market Day for small businesses in Savai’i opened with a bang yesterday.
Officially opened by the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Fio Purcell, the three day event features farmers selling livestock and fresh produce, fish, cooked food, handicrafts, White Sunday clothing and accessories, furniture and many, many more.
The event is organised by the Small Business Enterprise Centre (S.B.E.C).
And it is widely supported by the Savai’i community. Talu Talosaga from Salelologa said it is a great initiative.
“Having the opportunity to showcase these handicrafts is really exciting,” Mrs. Talosaga said.
“I started off at S.B.E.C with a loan of $1,000 to develop this little business of mine three years ago.
“Now it’s still growing, this is a good business for my family and we earn good money almost everyday and right now we have made so much more profit than the money we loaned.
“My small business provides a bit of money for the family as well as food, family fa’alavelave and my children.
“I would like to thank the S.B.E.C. for giving us hope especially the training provided so that we could learn to know more on dealing with businesses all the time.
“They’ve done so much to improve our business and profit every day and I am now looking at continuing my business in the future.
Talalelei Lemisio from Pu’apu’a told the Samoa Observer that “lots of women in our village benefit from the programme.”
“That motivated me last year to be part of it and create my own small business,” she said.
“The programme helps us to produce as many as we can here in Savai’i especially my own family.”
Lemisio creates handicrafts and other products from local materials.
“I am so grateful for the opportunity given by the S.B.E.C. to develop my skills on how to deal with selling and earning profits.
A 2015 impact assessment conducted on the work of S.B.E.C. showed that its contribution to Samoa G.D.P. has increased to $65million tala per annum creating around 700 employment opportunities.
The impacts of the work of S.B.E.C. plays a vital role in addressing some of the social issues vandalising communities and will continue to strive to aid and improve the quality of life for all through business opportunities.
S.B.E.C. aspires to be recognised as the preeminent organisation in the Pacific region that provides expert and best practice, services and support for the development of small businesses.