Women entrepreneurs small business startups' rising

An increase in the number of small business stalls that are predominantly women-owned is an encouraging sign, says the Samoa National Council of Women.

S.N.C.W. General Secretary Pamela Sua said that the data on the rise in women-owned small business schemes hasn’t been officially confirmed but she believes the village women’s committees are playing a crucial role in the increase of women entrepreneurs on both Upolu and Savai’i.

She said most of these women-owned small businesses are locally owned and they have not been spared the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We (S.N.C.W.) have seen lots of improvement from the village committee because so far at the moment lots of village women’s representatives are with us – for the record 18 we use to have but as of now only 16 villages – who have their representatives with us,” said Ms Sua.

“Some local business such as the one at Siutu, Savai’i where they have made their very own siapo where a group of women’s committee made it by themselves and yet is another money earned for the women's committee as well.”

Some of the challenges that the women entrepreneurs currently face is consistency in generating income as well as permanent locations for them to sell their products.

In the lead-up to the Mother’s Day weekend a fortnight ago, the Malaefatu Park at Sogi hosted over 20 small businesses selling their products. Some of the stall owners at that time expressed concern about the difficulties that they face at the venues where their businesses are currently located. 

One of the business owners, who didn’t want to be identified, spoke of the challenges that she and her colleagues faced.

“The work has not be finished yet and as we all know flea market is a public place for everyone to pop in for shopping an anything as for us stall owners, for this time this is temporarily which makes us moved from one place to place, for that as you see most of the stall owners are moving out,” the business owner lamented.

“My business is located far from the town area because the price we paid for the new space is very expensive and if one day we do not have any customers we pay the money but no income for us and our families.

“The developments nowadays are very unique, especially where the majority of the local businesses are women-owned. It's a good sign it shows that we are moving on by using our very own skills and knowledge to earn a living for our family.”

Another stall owner, who also did not want to be identified, said choosing the venues for their market is a challenge. 

“We want a safe place for our goods and products, not only for us but for the customers as well,” she said.

“It is pleasing for me seeing the majority of stall owners are women, this shows that women can do anything.”

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