Workshop participants with HOS Professor Raghuvar Pathak, Professor Tim Mazzarol, Workshop Coordinator Mr.Eric Clock and Mr. Mesake Nawari.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) Graduate School of Business (GSB) in collaboration with the Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand Ltd (SEAANZ), organised a workshop on Entrepreneurship on 11-15 October.
Aimed at creating problem-solving techniques through team work, the workshop provided participants with building blocks to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set.
The workshop attracted a diverse group of participants with varying skills and backgrounds. It was a practical hands-on one where participants acquired an understanding of what it is like to start a new business.
Guest speaker Mr. Ledua Ravatu, owner of Rouwani Graphics and the winner of the 2015 Reserve Bank of Fiji Microfinance Young Entrepreneur of the year, motivated participants by sharing his experiences.
Professor Tim Mazzarol, the director of SEAANZ, also an adjunct Professor at the GSB talked about the importance of setting attainable goals and achieving them by tackling one small task at a time.
“With this knowledge you will now be able to encourage enterprise to your families and communities. It is not only about getting to the peak point of your business, it is about the little steps, creativity, networking and support that you get along the way which has helped you climb up that ladder,” he added.
Professor Mazzarol suggested having a follow-up meeting with participants adding that it was the first in a series of entrepreneurship workshops organised by GSB and SEAANZ.
Professor Raghuvar Pathak, Head of the GSB shared inspirational stories with participants giving them a message about the importance of believing in themselves and taking the right path towards success.
“It is certain in a business that you will face challenges at some stages, but do not let that stop you from achieving your dreams,” he advised.
Mr. Eric Clock, workshop facilitator, encouraged participants to set their goals and pursue their dreams.
Mr Clock is an accredited professional trainer facilitating entrepreneurship workshops in the United States, throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and Australia.
Frances Kurolo, MBA Alumni of GSB and the owner of Lifeway Business Centre at the age of 24, shared her experiences of being a young entrepreneur from the age of 16 where she sold packets of biscuits to her fellow classmates in school.
Frances strongly believes in identifying the needs of a market and fulfilling them through effective business operations. “It’s not just about the money, it’s about how you change people’s lives for the better,” she added.
Asena Waqa, a young entrepreneur, also at the age of 24, is now an inspiration for the youth of Fiji. With a hearing disability, she strongly believes there is never a barrier to learning.
“I would like to operate a business which sells top quality hair products and this workshop has really helped me to take the next step to pursue my dreams,” she said.
Participants were also introduced to representatives from banks who gave financial advice from the bank’s perspectives on business start – up, the importance of saving and how to efficiently budget expenses.
GSB and the SEAANZ Enterprise Academy, believe such workshops will provide Fiji’s youth an excellent opportunity to turn their ideas into opportunities.
Also as part of this initiative, GSB has launched a new programme, Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship which will begin in Trimester 1 next year.
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