S.B.E.C. gears up for Trade Fair and Awards

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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TEAM S.B.E.C: Leaupepe Esera Poliko, Fata Chris Aluni, Alatina Ioelu and Makilua Puniani.

TEAM S.B.E.C: Leaupepe Esera Poliko, Fata Chris Aluni, Alatina Ioelu and Makilua Puniani. (Photo: Supplied)

To develop and encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship among Samoans is the goal of a Trade Fair and an Awards ceremony being planned by the Small Business Enterprise Center (S.B.E.C). 

The Trade Fair is scheduled for the 28th and 29th of June in front of the Government Building.

The event will showcase the work of more than 100 small businesses from all over the country that are supported by S.B.E.C’s Small Business Guarantee Scheme.

Chief Executive Officer, Alatina Ioelu, said S.B.E.C is looking forward to the event. 

He said it is about showcasing small businesses to the public as well as seeking trade opportunities to supply local retailers, hotels and restaurants. They will also be exploring opportunities to export.

“The fourth trade fair was held in American Samoa and the idea behind that Trade Fair was trying to get American Samoa to see the variety of products that we have but we also tried to access that market because it’s so close and yet we do so little with American Samoa,” he said.

“The idea at the time was we alternate. However there were a lot of technical issues that we couldn’t resolve with American Samoa hence why we are now doing our own Trade Fair.”

The Trade Fair is part of the build up to the Business Awards.

“This is an opportunity for our clients not only to network but also showcase the products that they do,” said Mr. Ioelu.

“The business awards is more of a motivational activity for our clients to improve their products and services.

“There are a number of clients that have the potential to improve the quality of their products and services but we do not have the avenue to put them through that so we thought an award is the perfect platform to try and push these clients to the next level.”

The cost of the whole event is approximately $100,000.

“The preparation for the event needed more than $100,000 but we have some sponsors who came in to lend a hand.”

Mr. Ioelu revealed that six businesses have gone through to the final.

“The award is in collaboration with Taumeasina Island Resort as well as the Govt. of New Zealand and Samoa,” he said.

“The contenders for the awards were selected from S.B.E.C’s client portfolio using a stringent set of criteria and from the 100 of clients in the sector, six were able to make it to the final competition with judging done over a period of three months.

“Each sector with two to three judges made up of experts in the field and the winners will be announced by the judges and sponsors of each sector at the Business Award.”

Mr. Ioelu was not at liberty to divulge who the finalists will be.

“We cannot release the list of businesses that made the final but what I can say is that the businesses that have gone through the final are all the businesses that have gone through the S.B.E.C programme,” he said.

“We are also hoping to have the award as an annual event but we want to make it as a national event not just the S.B.E.C award.

“The idea is that we will be proposing to the govt. to take this event as a national award and to involve the actual sector in the selection, the judging and the whole taking it to the next level.

The events involve businesses in Upolu and Savai’i.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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