NATION

Earnings Tip Over $430,000 at Expo

The 340 artisans, who took part in the Fiji National Women’s Expo at Laucala Bay,  earned $430,244.40 as of 3pm yesterday. Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa
24 Jun 2018 13:46
Earnings Tip Over $430,000 at Expo
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa at the closing of the Fiji National Women’s Expo in Suva on June 23, 2018 at the FMF Gymnasium. Photo: Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation

The 340 artisans, who took part in the Fiji National Women’s Expo at Laucala Bay,  earned $430,244.40 as of 3pm yesterday.

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa said the figures stated that women were producing more artefacts and were selling more over the three-day show.

In 2014, 1516 women earned $133,152; in 2015, 570 women earned $314,133.20; last year 475 women who took part earned a $402,469.35.

“The end of the expo for me is a mark of new beginnings, a commemoration of the success of our women artisans, who have effectively participated in the single biggest economic empowerment national event for Fijian women,” she said.

“The end of the National Women’s Expo means more women getting empowered, equipped with better knowledge, new experiences, more exposure, stronger ties with consumers and new found skills to go back and prepare not only for the next expo, but for a phase of change and new beginnings.”

She added that the new beginnings would translate into new and improved products; into better sales, to a more sustainable business and an opportunity to leave an indelible mark in the commercial market and in the thousands of homes across Fiji and also overseas. Mrs Vuniwaqa said the marketing for this year’s expo was not as vigorous as in the past three expos.

The participation had to be lowered because of the limited space.

“Nonetheless, the crowds were drawn to this venue and this is a good show of the fact that the National Women’s Expo has now become a brand in itself,” the minister said.

She added that apart from the quality, which had improved over the years, they now had 170 women artisans who had obtained licences of the Fijian Crafted standards.

This was identified through the expo.

“I encourage all Fijians to stand up in support of the women around them; educate them, empower them, help them, protect them, believe in their dreams, appreciate their talents and skills and sacrifices, respect them for being who they are and for wanting to become much more because we just cannot excel as a family, community or nation if we don’t,” Mrs Vuniwaqa said

She encouraged the women to push boundaries to get their businesses off the ground if it isn’t already.

“If we women want to change the ratio and proliferate women-led businesses, then the change has to start with us,” Mrs Vuniwaqa said.

She acknowledged all the sponsors and the participants and members of the public who supported the 2018 Women’s Expo that ended yesterday.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback:  selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj



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