Portrait of Eunice Kelivani. © – USP PEUMP
Honiara, Solomon Islands (November 7, 2023): In the heart of Honiara, the bustling capital of the Solomon Islands, Eunice Kelivani’s small seafood business has achieved remarkable success. Eunice, a determined entrepreneur with a passion for the sea, has transformed her modest enterprise into a thriving venture that has not only changed her life but also of those around her. This is her story of resilience and success.
Eunice’s journey began on the shores of Shortland Island in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands. Nestled amidst the clear blue waters, she embarked on her dream of sharing the joy of smoked fish with the world. Her initial market was Bougainville, a neighboring region where her delicious smoked fish quickly gained popularity.
But Eunice’s commitment to her business did not end on Shortland Islands. To her advantage, she was part of the first cohort to undergo micro-qualification training on establishing and operating a small seafood business in 2021. This training – funded by the European Union and the Government of Sweden through the USP component of the PEUMP Programme – proved transformative for her business. The training enabled her to not only develop a comprehensive business plan, but to also master cash control and effectively market her products, including utilizing social media for advertising.
Armed with newfound knowledge and unwavering determination, Eunice expanded her business to Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands. However, this expansion resulted in significant initial challenges. Establishing a foothold and sourcing high-quality fish in a bustling city such as Honiara was no easy task. Refusing to compromise on product quality, Eunice took matters into her own hands. She scoured the coast, forging relationships with local fishermen and divers who shared her commitment to excellence.
As a result, her business extended beyond the pristine shores of Shortland Island; reaching the hearts and homes of Honiara’s residents. Eunice transitioned to a home-to-home delivery model to cater to the diverse clientele in the capital.
Eunice’s tenacity paid off, and her business flourished. She transitioned from having only two employees in Shortland Island to employing a total of five dedicated staff. The three additional members joined her in Honiara to oversee the daily operations of the thriving business. Eunice’s journey had come full circle, turning her once-small venture into a testament to her enduring spirit and unrelenting pursuit of success.
Eunice was not one to hoard her newfound knowledge. She generously shared her insights and the skills she acquired during the micro-qualification training with fellow business entrepreneurs. Her generosity knew no bounds, as she guided them on the path to success, teaching them how to manage their finances, adhere to budgets, and develop effective business plans.
Eunice’s words resonate with gratitude: “I am so thankful to the USP PEUMP Project for bringing this training to the Solomon Islands. It has greatly improved our knowledge of business aspects. This training really honed my business skills and helped me expand my business. I hope to expand my business even further as I look into the future.”
Eunice Kelivani’s journey is a story of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of knowledge. From her roots in Shortland Island to the bustling heart of Honiara, she has demonstrated that dreams can come through dedication, education, and the pursuit of excellence. Her future, like the endless horizon of the sea, holds boundless possibilities.