ESA hosts expo to celebrate World Entrepreneurs Day | 22 August 2019
To commemorate World Entrepreneurs Day celebrated yesterday, the Entrepreneur Seychelles Agency (ESA) organised a one-day entrepreneurial expo and exhibition at the International Conference Centre (ICCS), Victoria.
The aim was to promote and give more visibility and exposure to the local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The public were able interact with the entrepreneurs of the eighteen enterprises engaged in various artisanal and business domains such as textiles, handycraft, jewelry, recycling, extraction of oil, printing and laminating, among others.
Also present to showcase their services and products offered to MSMEs, through informative stands, were twelve affiliated public and private business partners in banking, revenue collection, insurance, health, licensing and transportation, among others.
The entrepreneurial expo and exhibition was also part of activities to celebrate one year existence of ESA since August 5, 2018 thus also showcasing what the agency has accomplished during the one year.
World Entrepreneurs Day is to create awareness for entrepreneurship in terms of innovation and leadership throughout the world. ESA is mandated with the responsibility of supporting and facilitating sustainable development and the promotion of entrepreneurship in Seychelles, especially for the MSMEs through their locally made products.
The expo was officially opened by the chairperson of ESA, Marie-Celine Zialor, in the presence of the principal secretary for Investment, Michael Nalletamby; the chief executive of ESA, Angelic Appoo; other government and agency officials; the entrepreneurs participating in the expo; board members and staff of ESA and other invitees.
Addressing the gathering, Ms Zialor said that her message is that we must have the will power to disrupt our traditional conveniences of our comfort zone so as to be able to move forward in our businesses or other endeavours.
“Real entrepreneurs should always feel uncomfortable. It is when you feel uncomfortable that you tend to want to move forward and innovate. By being comfortable you tend to stay where you are without feeling the urge to move forward,” Ms Zialor said.
In her opening remarks, Ms Appoo urged everyone to appreciate and to value the work done by the MSMEs just like ESA which values each and every MSME as they are the backbone of the Seychelles economy comprising 90% of businesses in the country.
“Policymaking should start with – and sustain – a strong signal that entrepreneurship is a priority for the country. It is not enough to include entrepreneurship in a long list of policy priorities. Public officials need to plant the entrepreneurship flag in the ground and let everyone know it is important,” Ms Appoo said.
Ms Appoo later said that some of the challenges that ESA is tackling to offer a better service to MSMEs is seek more resources in terms of finance and staffing and also to work to regain their lost trust in ESA.
Two business entrepreneurs, Mustafa Bristol, the chief executive and co-founder of brands Globarom (dealing in cinnamon essential oil products) and Tropeko (dealing in coconut essential oil products), and Joanna Didon, a textile local designer of the brand ‘KATITI’, gave testimonies of their journeys into local business and entrepreneurship which have led them to later gain recognition internationally. Their presentations were followed by a video presentation on ESA’s one-year achievements and obligations.
Some of the entrepreneurs who talked to Seychelles NATION said that though with the many incentives and facilities put in place by government to ease doing business, which they immensely appreciate, doing business is still a great hassle due to the many bureaucratic procedures still being practiced and also a lack of appropriate resources to grow. But they are happy though to have stayed passionate and resilient in the face of such difficulties.
The accompanying photos show some highlights of the expo.