S.B.E.C. honours the past, looks to the future

The Minister of Public Enterprises, Lautafi Fio Purcell, has congratulated the Small Business Enterprises Centre (S.B.E.C.) on its 25th anniversary and its rebranding to what it is now called the Samoa Business Hub (S.B.H.).

Lautafi offered the Government’s well wishes during a glamourous celebration outside the Le Sanalele Complex on Thursday night.

“Tonight’s event is the product of years of extensive consultations, discussions at all levels from the farmers and fishers in the villages to the Boards and Government level,” Lautafi said.

The Minister assured that the Government is committed to private sector and small to medium enterprises development. He said there is a pressing need to provide and facilitate an enabling environment to foster business growth in Samoa.

“It is my pleasure to officially open the event to celebrate, promote and profile the work of S.B.E.C, their shareholders, partners, and businesses that they support.”

Despite fears about the measles epidemic, the event was well attended. 

Reverend Amosa Tapua’i Kuka blessed the evening with a prayer.

Chairperson of S.B.E.C’s Board of Trustees, Tuiloma Sina Retzlaff, acknowledged the Government assistance as well as the critical assistance provided by the government of New Zealand.

 “Your leadership has brought S.B.E.C. thus far over 25 years…,” she said.

 “Tonight, we have to look back, reflect and acknowledge our past Chairmen and Chairwomen as well as those who have been on the Board of Trustees in the past, C.E.Os that have led S.B.E.C. over the past 25 years. Your contribution has brought S.B.E.C. to where we are tonight.”

Tuiloma also thanked their clients.

 “We can only celebrate tonight, twenty five years, because of all of you,” she said.

Looking ahead, Tuiloma said this where the rebranding to S.B.H. becomes critical.

“And as we evolve, that is why we shift and we look to new ideas for the future,” she said.

New Zealand’s High Commissioner, Dr. Trevor Matheson said his country is deeply proud to be the principal co-supporter of S.B.E.C. and now S.B.H.

 “The change of acronyms from SBEC to SBH is simply no change in man. This is a quantum change,” he said.

The evening was also used to announce S.B.E.C’s Second annual Business Awards.

S.B.E.C. was established in 1994 by the Government and New Zealand to help with the development of small businesses through training and access to finance.

With offices in Upolu and Savai’i, the organisation is headed by Vaitulia Alatina Ioelu as the Director/Chief Executive Officer.

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