Seven finalists from Samoa nominated for Samoa Business Network awards

By Elizabeth Ah-Hi ,

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ONE OF THE NOMINEES: Chef John from Samoa.

ONE OF THE NOMINEES: Chef John from Samoa. (Photo: Samoa Observer)

Seven local businesses are finalists in the Samoa Business Network (S.B.N.) Awards to be held in Auckland on 29 September 2018.

This year marks the S.B.N.’s fifth year anniversary since its inception in New Zealand. In line with fulfilling the networks greater vision of connecting Samoan businesses and entrepreneurs worldwide, S.B.N. has announced its hosting of the first international awards for Samoan businesses in the region.

S.B.N. Chairperson, Afamasaga Jackie Curry said the event is unprecedented and they will be the first to host a Samoan focused business awards in New Zealand and they make no apologies. 

“Our point of difference is we focus on our community,” said Afamasaga. 

“And as a point of reference, we have been supporting the Tongans to create their own business network. We have professionals that are very influential in New Zealand and one of our main goals is to get our Samoan people and professionals supporting and lifting each other up, getting rid of tall poppy syndrome where we pull each other down.”

In its fifth year of operation, Afamasaga says it’s time for the network to lift its game and fulfill its purpose of lifting the profiles of Samoan businesses around the world. 

“Being that it’s our fifth year anniversary, we’re taking it to the next level in realising our vision of connecting our Samoan businesses around the world. To achieve that, we will have events that capture people’s attention here in New Zealand, Samoa and Australia. Last year’s awards in Samoa showed how beneficial it was to local businesses to have their profiles exposed and lifted in order to reach their potential markets much more effectively.”

One particular category is gaining a lot of attention and engagement online with votes being open to the public. The peoples’ choice award has taken a life of its own according to Afamasaga, and the award was about creating hype and fun with Samoans all over taking to social media and the S.B.N. website to vote for their favourite businesses. 

Successful online SUGA magazine based in Australia are sponsoring the SUGA Business Woman of the Year (International) award, which features our local business woman, Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai as one of the three finalists. 

The awards event will be staged at the prestigious Naumi Hotel in Mangere on Saturday 29, September. Fifty-eight entries were received from Samoan owned businesses from New Zealand, Samoa and Australia. Keil-Hall and Curry wish to acknowledge the support of the sponsors, major sponsor Pacific Media Network [PMN – Niu FM & 531PI], associate sponsors SUGA Magazine, Tanoa Tusitala Hotel, Bluwave, Emotions Events, RISE2025 and supporting sponsors N5 Consulting & Rimani Samoa. They also acknowledged the ongoing support of BNZ Manukau.

Here is the list of Finalists for the Award Categories & Finalists in alphabetical order:

 

1. Excellence in Small Business (NZ)

This award recognises a business that has accomplished significant growth in the previous 24 months.

D’vine Banquets

WE Accounting & Business Services Ltd

37 HZ Ltd

 

2. Excellence in Construction & Trades (NZ)

This award recognizes a business in construction and trades. Whether you excel at building, plumbing, roofing, electrical, painting, engineering or any other professional trade services.

Levi Plumbing

Solution Drive Management

Tempo Construction

 

3. Excellence in Hospitality (NZ)

This award recognises an outstanding accommodation venue, cafe, restaurant, caterer, pub or bistro facility. This business should pride itself on delivering exceptional customer service, high standards in presentation and delivery of both your accommodation, food and service.

Big River Catering

D’vine Banquets

Ilissia’s Catering

 

4. Excellence in Professional Services (NZ)

This award recognises a business in the professional services industry that is excelling at legal, accounting, real estate, broking, dentistry, medical services or any other professional service.

Home Graduates ECE Ltd

Pathfinder Solutions

WE Accounting & Business Services Ltd

 

5. Excellence in Innovation (NZ)

This award recognises a business that has made significant contributions to their business through the introduction or improvement of an idea, method, technology, process or application.

MYRIVR

Nora Swann Ltd

Staavias Ltd

6. Young Entrepreneur of the year (NZ)

This award recognises a young person aged between 18-35 years who, through their own commitment and passion, has built and operates a successful business, a young business leader who demonstrates outstanding entrepreneurial spirit, strategic direction and innovative ideas whilst providing inspiration to a new generation of upcoming young business people.

Fou Fale - D’vine Banquets

Gustavia Lui - Staavias Ltd

Epati Lafaialii - Tempo Construction

7. Start Up of the Year (NZ)

This award recognises a business that has been operating for less than 2 years that delivers a product/service/idea/invention with credible potential. This award recognises early-stage startups that have a solid chance of market success, and strongly displays the entrepreneurial spirit.

ARBEZ Ltd

Fair & Square Building Services Ltd

VAB Designz

8. Award for a Samoan based Business (Samoa only)

This award recognises a business in Samoa who is making a difference and contributing to the economic development of Samoa in a significant way, innovative in their approach to business, has a strong online presence & has shown significant success and growth in the last 12 months.  

Chef John Tours

Netvo Samoa

Skyeye Ltd

SSAB

9. SUGA Business Woman of the Year (International)

This award recognises and celebrates a Samoan woman with outstanding business acumen, excellent leadership skills and has distinguished herself in her business and with her peers.

Elizabeth Sio [NZ] - Home Graduates ECE Ltd

Nora Swann [NZ] - Nora Swann Ltd

Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai [Samoa] - SSAB

10. People’s Choice Award – Favourite Business (International)

This award is presented to the favourite business according to a popular vote, as voted by the public online.   The winner will be announced on the night of the Awards – The contenders are:

Afa Ah Loo (U.S.A)

ARBEZ Ltd (NZ)

Arilei Couture (Samoa)

Chef John Tours (Samoa)

D’vine Banquets Ltd (NZ & Australia)

Lashfix Eyelash & Beauty (Australia)

Levi Plumbing (NZ)

Mailelani Samoa Body Care (Samoa)

Makeki Online (Samoa)

Netvo Samoa (Samoa)

SSAB (Samoa)

Staavias Ltd (NZ & Australia)

The Coconet TV (NZ)

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