Waso workshop to help women entrepreneurs


Minister Sinon addressing delegates at the launch of the workshop

The Minister for Natural Resources and Industry, Peter Sinon, said this while launching a workshop to promote entrepreneurship among the more vulnerable women.

The workshop, an initiative of Waso (Women in Action Solidarity Organisation) is in line with the Seychelles Alliance for Women Development Project and is based on the concept of Leve Debrouye, to empower our women, especially young girls with children, to achieve economic independence and alleviating poverty.

The workshop was attended by some 30 women, mostly representatives of various organisations.
Unfortunately, some of the most vulnerable women, who stand to benefit most by this project, were not present.

Those attending included Dr Julia Katombe of South Africa, who shared her experience of business incubation from India.

Minister Sinon commended Waso for working in partnership with local NGOs and government agencies, as well as an international partner, such as the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Milan, Italy.

Mr Sinon said a country may be doomed to remain ever dependent on outside help, and in a permanent state of under-development, even if it has all the trappings associated with a modern society.

“I am thankful as a Seychellois, as a man and as a minister, that this is not the case in Seychelles.”

He said already Seychelles has surpassed even countries in the European Union (EU) regarding status of women and participation of women in political life. A notable example is that 46% of our parliamentarians are women.

Mr Sinon said with this project being coordinated by Waso, is it also hoped that we can get more females to be entrepreneurs, to “grab the bull by the horns” and to take their destiny in their own hands.

He said that touring the districts, he had learned many things. The main one being that there is a marked difference between the person asking “Minis napa nanryen” who is just idle and hoping for a handout and another who says “Minis, napa en tyak?” meaning he is willing to work and earn a living.

Waso chairperson Rosemary Elizabeth said the objective is to bring to women the concept of starting SIMPLY SMALL but SMART, for it is the way to sustainable growth and wealth in the years to come.

She added that through this project, Seychellois are being provided with the necessary skills and this will be an ongoing process in skills acquisition.

“Knowledge and skills will give many the opportunity to contribute in the reduction of unskilled jobseekers. With the support of others who will guide, support and encourage them, they will move forward in setting up their small smart ventures.”

One of the support staff, Benjamin Vel, said women should ideally learn how to start a business from home.

“They can for instance start cleaning homes, and when they contract too many, employ other women to assist them. They can also work at home manufacturing samoosas, pickles and other snacks.”

The project is to teach them about getting their ventures off the ground, such as securing the necessary funds, getting health clearance, dealing with the Licensing Authority and filing tax documents.   

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