22-year-old works on connecting Samoans

By Adel Fruean ,

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CONNECTING SAMOANS: Olisana Mariner, 22, launched The Hub on 1st January this year.

CONNECTING SAMOANS: Olisana Mariner, 22, launched The Hub on 1st January this year. (Photo: Supplied)

A self-motivated young woman has dreams of creating an innovative platform to facilitate learning across industry sectors and national borders in Samoa. 

Olisana Mariner, 22, together with her father launched The Hub on 1st January this year. 

Hub is a space where people could come together and share ideas, find synergies, and form partnerships. It is a high-end, mini-conference room for up to 10 people and located in the O.S.M. headquarters at Lotopa. 

The idea behind the launching of the Hub won second place in the 2018 Samoa Youth Co:Lab that was recently hosted in Samoa.

 She is the eldest daughter of Vui Sebastian Mariner and Shorley Mariner who are co-directors of O.S.M. Consultants – an engineering and project management company based at Lotopa. 

“The Hub is a subsidiary of O.S.M. Investments and it was co-founded by my dad and me at the beginning of this year to meet a business need, as well as take advantage of an under-utilized meeting area in O.S.M. headquarters,” Ms. Mariner said. 

 “I coined the name Hub 2.0 as a reflection of this new direction in mid-2019 and my hope is to find partners, stakeholders, donors, and investors who would be willing to help kick start my project – a social entrepreneurship initiative." 

“Through Hub 2.0, I want to help provide local solutions for Sustainable Development Goal number four - quality education, and number nine - industry, innovation and infrastructure.”

Ms. Mariner has a goal to have The Hub more involved on a corporate and community level to develop Information and Communications Technology (I.C.T.) education among Samoa’s youth.

“I dream of providing opportunities to those who need it most and partnering with local and international stakeholders who want to improve the quality of education as well as ethically digitise the industry, innovation, and infrastructure landscape in Samoa,” Ms. Mariner said. 

Her inspiration are her parents. 

“They (parents) have shown that honour and kindness in the workplace inspires loyalty. When it comes to entrepreneurship, there is no one else who inspires me more than them. They teach and train me every day. It is such a privilege to call them my parents, let alone have them as professional mentors,” Ms. Mariner said.

She was awarded the New Zealand Pacific Scholarship in 2013 - a full scholarship that allowed her the opportunity to pursue tertiary education in Victoria University of Wellington.  

Ms. Mariner graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Marketing and International Business. 

She now works with Island Hopper Vacations Samoa - the largest Inbound Tour Operator in the Cook Islands.

 “I am so humbled and I feel incredibly privileged to have been part of this first Youth Co:Lab. Over the course of two days, we were educated, inspired and empowered to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges,” Ms. Mariner said.  

“These include challenges such as poverty, unemployment, hunger, water sanitation, quality education, infrastructure, and inequality."

“I will not be surprised to see those in my Youth Co:Lab family go onto becoming some of the most influential diplomats, business leaders, and world changers.”

Ms. Mariner loves to learn about new inventions and innovative ideas. 

“Also, it sounds bad, but I am highly motivated by regret. I would much rather have tried, tested, failed, and done something knowing that I at least ‘tried’ than spending my whole life wondering ‘what if’ or ‘maybe’. It’s a mutually admirable and annoying quality about my personality,” Ms. Mariner said.  

“We are not made to function alone, with that being said I’ve started to rely too much on my own abilities and not look to God for wisdom, strength and provision. So In times of difficulties God is her everything.”

In her spare time, Ms. Mariner enjoys art.

“I advise other entrepreneurs to find mentors, people who are doing what you want to do or have been where you want to go, seek their counsel and wisdom. Shadow them respectfully. Be proactive with your questions by emailing, calling or better yet meeting with them and ask for specifics on your business idea and what their number one piece of advice would be for someone like you who wants to approach business,” she advised.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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