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  Seychelles Chapter of the Comesa Federation of Women in Business   Women entrepreneurs receive certificates after three-day capacity building training |19 August 2021

   Seychelles Chapter of the Comesa Federation of Women in Business     Women entrepreneurs receive certificates after three-day capacity building training

Participants in a souvenir photograph with Minister Vidot after the certificate presentation ceremony (Photo: Joena Meme)

Over 20 women entrepreneurs received their certificates last Thursday after taking part in a three-day capacity building training, hosted by the Seychelles Chapter of the Comesa Federation of Women in Business.

The training is the first Regional Enterprise Competitiveness and Access to Market Programme organised in Seychelles, with the aim of building the capacity of business women to bring their services and products beyond the local market.

It was mostly attended by Seychellois women involved in small, cottage businesses such as tailoring handicrafts, graphic design and food production.

Present during the certificate presentation ceremony at the ICCS were Minister for Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry Devika Vidot, chief executive of the Citizens Engagement Platform Seychelles (Ceps) Alvin Laurence and chairperson of the Comesa Federation of Women in Business (COMFWB) Seychelles Chapter Claudette Albert

The sessions were led by consultants Benjamin Vel, Peter Rosalie and Germaine Michaud who explored topics such as marketing and branding, labeling, platforms available to African women for networking and to sell their products on the continent.

In her speech to close off the training, Minister Vidot called on the participants to become pioneers for their peers as the knowledge and skillsets they have acquired are transferable to other women.

“I hope that this course has equipped you with the relevant skills to launch into innovative businesses, impart knowledge that will allow you to market your products and services to the right market segments, and enable you to promote your business and grow sustainably,” Minister Vidot told the participants.

She further added that a majority of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) had been impacted by Covid-19 forcing some to relook at their business models to meet new demands in the new normal and be innovative.

“Women business owners were not spared. With a high percentage of this gender group already operating in MSMEs, capacity building remains a key pre-requisite in helping our women entrepreneurs to bounce back better. Business resilience is more than ever, a core element of any woman’s business plan,” added Minister Vidot.

Thirty-seven-year-old Juliette Zelime, who specialises in arts and graphics, noted that the training has been very informative and useful.

“Although the training was short, we learnt a lot such as e-commerce, how to bring our business to international standards, and opportunities for financing,” Ms Zelime stated.

“As a graphic artist, I actually realised throughout the training that I am able to help the other women entrepreneurs here with designs for the packaging and labelling. This is my area of expertise so it shows that we can collaborate and bring our products to regional and international markets,” she added.

Gemma Dubel, who owns a small tailoring business, said she also picked up a lot in regards to e-commerce and how to better brand her products.

“I consider my products to be of quality ‒ I don’t do anything I am not proud of and it is at the satisfaction of my clients. There are opportunities for us to license our products for other companies to reproduce them and sell them in Africa,” said Mrs Dubel.

Established in July 1993 in Zimbabwe with the endorsement of the Authority (made up of heads of States and Governments of the Comesa member states), COMFWB promotes programmes that integrate women into trade and development activities in eastern and southern Africa particularly in the fields of industry, trade and services, agriculture, fishing, energy, transport and communications, natural resources and mining, with the main objective of improving the economic conditions of women in the sub-region as well as increasing the awareness of women in development and business issues at the policy level.


Elsie Pointe


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