Vice President Meriton visits local entrepreneurs in north Mahe | 31 August 2019
Local entrepreneurs will continue to receive support from the government through the Enterprise Seychelles Agency so that they can continue to produce quality and value for money products which will add value to the Seychelles brand, Vice President Vincent Meriton has said.
Vice President Meriton was speaking yesterday afternoon following his visit in north Mahe, more precisely at Beau Vallon, where he met with the owners of three micro, small and medium size enterprises.
The aim of the visit was for him to see for himself progress made, to interact with the owners and discuss their achievements and challenges.
Vice President Meriton was accompanied by the principal secretary for industry and entrepreneurship development Angelique Antat, representatives of Enterprise Seychelles Agency (Esa) led by its chief executive Angelic Appoo.
VP Meriton’s first visit was to Anna Payet and Roland Payet, owners of Island Collection, a medium size tailoring and handicraft business. Mr Payet focuses on woodwork artifacts example coco-de-mer shapes, geckos and wood carving among others.
He also makes jewellery such as bracelets, pendants, earrings etc. out of oyster shells and corals. The tailoring is left to Mrs Payet who uses an embroidery machine to sew various characters on beach towels, bags and T-shirts among other items.
Mr Payet operates his handicraft business in a small workshop close to his dwelling house while Mrs Payet does the tailoring under her verandah. They are constructing a building close by to which their business will move in the near future and from where they will also sell their products in a more appropriate and conducive environment.
“Our main challenge is to get a place to sell our products. It is now that we are trying to finish our studio for which we have fought for planning permission for eight years. Once finished we will have a proper place to display our products,” Mr Payet said.
Vice President Meriton also visited ‘Zil Lokal’, another handicraft and jewellery business owned by Veronique Lanza. Ms Lanza has a degree in photography and fibre. For two years she worked in jewellery production in Los Angeles, USA whereby she designed line sheets for the company she worked for. She focuses on handmade jewellery of different designs such as necklaces, earrings and bracelets, among other decorative items, made of shells, pieces of broken glass bottles and fibre. She uses recycle wood to display her works on.
Her products, targeting high class clientèle, are sold in duty free shops at the Seychelles International Airport and also to high class hotels on Mahe and the outer islands. Ms Lanza said she will in the near future give 10% of her profits as corporate social responsibility (CSR) contribution to the Beau Vallon schools. One of her main challenges is getting raw materials from abroad which at times do not arrive on time. She noted though that locally, raw materials are easily available. Her other challenge is to finish the construction of her studio and shop so that she can move from working under her verandah and also an appropriate space to display her finished products.
Vice President Meriton said he was happy to see three Seychellois transforming raw materials into finished goods of great value and that Esa is partnering with them to see that those products of great value are not sold only locally but abroad as well. He noted that products from Seychelles are at times of better quality than those made for the international market and advertised by famous brand names.
Maurice Lavigne Laundry Service, a small enterprise was the last business that VP Meriton visited at Beau Vallon.
The home operated business owned by Maurice Lavigne offers laundry services to the tourism industry. His target market is mainly guest houses, small hotels and apartments. Mr Lavigne employs three full time and two part time employees. He hopes to build a separate adjoining area next to his dwelling house to expand his business. He started his laundry business with the help of Esa through the R50,000 Sids capital. His main challenge is low electricity voltage which is slowing down his business even though the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) has agreed to place another water meter at his home.
The deputy chief executive of Esa, Jourdan Camille said over the years those three businesses and others have been liaising with Esa and have been helped financially while others have received business development guidance and advice. He noted that Esa will continue to help the small, micro and medium size entrepreneurs in their quest to flourish and grow their businesses.