A Year 11 student of Gospel High School, Sherry Masanivalu was part of around 50 women entrepreneurs from urban and rural communities in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu who showcased their products in the AWEsome Fiji Holiday Fair at Thurston Gardens today.
Masanivalu says she has been making and selling bracelets to help her family as they are facing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phyllis Vatucawaqa of Sabeto, Nadi says they have gone back to farming due to loss of employment a year ago and are creating value-added products .
Academy for Women Entrepreneurs is a U.S. Government-funded program that provides women entrepreneurs with the skills, resources, and networks needed to start and grow successful businesses. Nearly 300 Fijian women have been trained by the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs in the fundamentals of business development.
US Embassy's Charge d Affaires to Fiji Tony Greubel says they are delighted to showcase the work of the participants of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs for the second year in a row and are excited about their success.
He says they are honoured to support strong and creative women to learn from each other and gain the skills needed to support their businesses, communities, and the local economy, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Embassy has partnered with the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council and the Makoi Women’s Vocational Centre to implement the program in Fiji and have also included both new and seasoned women entrepreneurs.
The AWEsome Holiday Fair featured clothing, jewellery, fabric, home decor, Christmas crafts, and a variety of foods, including fresh produce, preserved foods, pastries, and savoury snacks.
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