Business and Financial Education Fair | 27 June 2019
Over 50 firms promote their services
L’Union Estate on La Digue welcomed 55 different financial institutions and organisations over the weekend for the inner island’s Business and Financial Education Fair which formed part of the National Day celebrations.
The fair was organised by the National Celebrations Committee and the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS). This is in line with the implementation of the financial education strategy which aims to educate the public about the importance of making wise financial decisions. It was therefore a very good opportunity for the Praslinois and Diguois to enhance their knowledge especially vis-à-vis launching their own business and the various financial facilities available to ensure business growth.
Commercial banks such as Seychelles Commercial Bank (SCB), Mauritius Commercial Bank (MCB), Nouvobanq, Barclays Bank and Credit Union were showcasing the different services they offer especially the various loan schemes.
The Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) was particularly emphasising on the ‘Blue Finance’ loans and encouraging the public to venture in businesses related to the ‘blue economy’.
To note that Designated Minister Macsuzy Mondon, who is also the chairperson of the National Celebrations Committee, officially launched the fair, urging Diguois and Praslinois to divert into untapped sectors such as the blue economy, financial services and value addition instead of focusing on the tourism industry only. DBS was also introducing their new loan schemes for certain areas which were not being financed before as well as reduction in interest and processing fees for certain schemes.
The CBS was showcasing its functions and encouraging the public to develop a savings culture over consumption as well as the importance of budgeting.
On their part, the Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC) was sensitising the public about the importance of energy conservation and the positive impact it could have on their budgets as well as advertising the various loan facilities available via the banks linked to the financing of energy conservation projects.
The Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) was also present displaying various water conservation methods and appliances and various games with rewards including a 1000L circular water tank. Electricity supply was introduced on La Digue Island in 1985 via an undersea cable link from Praslin but to date the island is equipped with a small office and currently a bigger operational space is required. Therefore, construction of a new office will soon start and the plans for same as well as a new sewerage treatment plan were on display. Praslin will eventually receive a new office as well to provide better facilities to both the staff and the public.
The various insurance schemes for a business, home, vehicle or even life insurance opportunities were being promoted by insurance companies Sacos and H Savy Insurance.
Several governmental bodies such as the Seychelles Licensing Authority (SLA), the Registration Division of the Department of Legal Affairs, Seychelles Revenue Commission (SRC), the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) were providing guidance and advise about the various procedures and formalities required for business start-up and sustainability. The Seychelles Pension Fund (SPF) was particularly encouraging the public to make a voluntary contribution towards their pension.
The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) was also present to sensitise the public about their roles and responsibilities as consumers as well as how the commission can support them.
On its part, the Enterprise Services Agency (ESA) was showcasing the various business opportunities available to the Praslinois and Diguois as well as offering guidance and support to current entrepreneurs.
The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) was showcasing latest statistics about fisheries management and aquaculture. Various activities were particularly targeting children with the hope that the future generation can ensure continuity of our fish stock.
L’Union Estate itself was also contributing to encourage the public to grow certain crops at home which will be beneficial to them especially vanilla and other crops which they could even use for trade.
Several businesses were advertising their products and services. Among them JNL enterprise, a family business based on Praslin which specialises in Aluminium doors and windows, Seaweed Seychelles, a father-son team which produces 100% natural liquid extract from Sargassum Seaweed which is used to increase plant growth and yield as well as protect from pests and diseases.
Cable & Wireless Seychelles was displaying their new broadband wireless internet packages as well as their new Cable Kiosk with new features such as bill payment and SIM card disbursement. Mervin Nibourette, a young entrepreneur, was promoting his locally produced items as well as artisanal works of other artists.
Organisers of the fair expressed their appreciation towards both participants and the general public and hope the public could gather maximum information from the various stalls.
The accompanying photos (courtesy Romano Laurence) show some highlights of the fair during the official opening ceremony.