BY CHRIS ALEX
CATRIONA Kotto Birisi, a young entrepreneur from the Solomon Islands, found inspiration and guidance during the one-day information session, an event organized by the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Program.
The purpose of the October 17, 2023, event at the Art Gallery was to provide local women entrepreneurs in the Honiara and other provinces with the knowledge and skills they need to start and grow profitable businesses.
Catriona, a Form 6 student, decided to drop out of school this year because she is so passionate about starting her own business. Catriona is now providing basic needs for her family by running a canteen, but she hopes to start her own business the following year. Her path changed dramatically when she enrolled in the AWE program, a decision she feels would help her realize her aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur.
Catriona expressed her enthusiasm for participating in the one-day event, expressing her emotions.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this one-day informational season in order to expand my understanding of how to establish a viable business and industry.
“I chose to start a modest family company by operating a shop after I dropped out of my Form 6 classes. Thankfully, I was told to enroll in this program (AWE), and after attending this one-day informational session, I’m more motivated than ever to grow my company,” she told SOLOMON WOMEN.
Through skill development and fostering of their entrepreneurial spirit, the AWE initiative seeks to empower women like Catriona. AWE continues to open doors for women entrepreneurs in the Solomon Islands by organizing occasions such as the one-day information season, which helps them build profitable companies and make a significant impact on their communities and families.
Likewise, at its foundation, the AWE is an assisted online course called DreamBuilder that provides women entrepreneurs with educational opportunities. For dynamic women with an entrepreneurial spirit, AWE is intended.
It is not required for participants to have a business plan or to be in operation as yet. All they want is a willingness to put in two days a month for seven months, creative ideas for a future business, a drive to better themselves, a basic understanding of computers, and access to a digital device.