Council Guides Women
Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council is focused on advocating for and supporting women entrepreneurs in Fiji.
Starting your own business is usually risky and often a stressful endeavour.
However, for women entrepreneurs in the country, the Women Entrepreneurs and Business Council (WEBC) is making sure that members are guided with the best mentors in this process.
Not only is their goal to help women start their own business but to also make sure it survives and grows.
The WEBC is one of the nine councils under the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation.
It is established for all women entrepreneurs, whether established or emerging, to assist in strengthening the voice of women entrepreneurs in the country.
The council’s first help desk session for the year was held yesterday at the FCEF building where some of the council’s members would volunteer their time to answer any queries that entrepreneurs have regarding their business.
One of the council’s members, Sera Nicholls, said most of the queries asked were about performance management, management of staff and how or when can a director be appointed.
Ms Nicholls owns a business called Plumbing and Property Services Ltd and is the council’s vice-chair alongside Amerika Grewal.
During the help desk sessions, Ms Nicholls makes sure that she takes three hours to attend the session and make sure that no queries are left unanswered.
Ms Grewal said that most of the challenges that women entrepreneurs face is finding enough time and money.
“A lot of people will say that they will help you with things but they also say that you will have to pay me for this,’ Ms Grewal said.
“If you are new in business and you don’t know the value of what you are purchasing, then you have to learn to ask yourself if it is worth this much money?
“In the help desk session, you can come in and ask your questions then we direct you on whom to speak to or we can advise you on the types of services that requires payments or not.”
Not only does the council act as a mentor and a voice for the women entrepreneurs, the council also assists the entrepreneurs by directing them to ask the right questions.
An issue that the council and its members often face is the fact that most of the business compliance policies are geared towards assisting larger or established companies, according to Ms Nicholls.
So when small and medium business entrepreneurs ask questions, most of the answers are geared towards the large companies.
Ms Grewal said that as a result, the council assists the entrepreneurs by phrasing the questions in a way that they can get better services out of the relevant authorities.