Entrepreneurs show talents in exhibition


Visitors, including Labour and Human Resource Development Minister Idith Alexander, at one of the stallsThe small business development programme run by Waso (Women in Action Solidarity Organisation) ran for a total of 13weeks and trained both males and females in not only developing entrepreneurial products, but also in managing small business finance, marketing and feasibility assessments.

The workshop was funded by the European Union and formed part of the Seychelles Alliance for Women’s Development project being undertaken by Waso in partnership with FORMAPER, an organisation based in Italy.

Consultant and trainer at Waso, Giovanna Neves, said the project culminated in the exhibition of the participants’ business ideas and products to the wider market to enable them to receive feedback and thus go on to improve their products and services.

“Waso has the goal of empowering women – economically, sociologically, psychologically and emotionally – so it actually fulfills our economic as well as social purpose, and it’s also in line with the government’s policy of Travay dir pour nou Sesel,” said Ms Neves.

“A lot of the women we work with are disadvantaged in society; they are suffering with many issues and obstacles. This project provides them with the support they need for them to become empowered to fulfill their own dreams and goals.”

Entrepreneur Doreen Bick – a former housekeeper and babysitter – said she has found her passion by making stained glass art, jewellery, photo frames, and fashion accessories.
“I’m a person who loves art and drawing. I always liked decorations.”

Entrepreneur Doreen Bick with some of her stained glass art, jewellery, photo frames, and fashion accessories

She said the reaction to her work has been positive, especially from family and friends who had no idea she was capable of such artistry. She hopes to grow the business as time goes on, saying she has learned from the training that it was possible to manage a business without taking a loan.

“At Waso, it’s not about getting finance. It’s about how to manage your business on a zero percent budget. That means you’re not going to take a loan to develop your business, but rather use whatever you have at your disposal to grow your business.”