Stories & articles of our work & our people
Samoa Business Network Inc. has confirmed the timing of its First Official Business Trip to Samoa.
The official announcement of the Business Trip was made by Afamasaga Jackie Curry, SBN Samoa Chairwoman at the SBN & NZSTIC Independence Day Event held last month. At the event, Afamasaga had shared a reflection on the importance of working together as Samoans based overseas to give back to our country Samoa, “E lele le toloa ae maau lava i le vai”, wherever Samoans venture in the world, they will always return home. This is the spirit of Samoa Business Network, to give back to our country through facilitating new business opportunities and tapping into the professional expertise and experience of our global Samoan business and professional community.
Laura Keil-Hall, SBN NZ Chairwoman says the SBN Business Trip has been in the pipeline since the beginning of this year after numerous discussions with the former Samoa Trade Commissioner Fonoti Dr. Lafitai Fuatai. Months before Fonoti left for Samoa and also just before he left his post in March, he prompted the Network to look into taking a business trip to Samoa this year and he really encouraged the Network to do so.
Laura says they knew it was a huge ask because they have a few events and initiatives already planned for the year. Like facilitating business workshops in May, the Independence Day Business Event that was held last month, a business trip to Sydney also last month, the Digital Marketing Workshop & Networking Event in Samoa next month and the inaugural SBN Business Awards in Auckland in September. Not only that they also have their own full time jobs and families to consider. "No pressure!" she says as she laughs. "I just hope people appreciate and value the work that we do because we do all of this at our own time on a voluntary basis with almost next to nothing for a budget." she continues with a serious expression.
Since Fonoti's departure, Magele Mauiliu Magele has taken up the post of Samoa Trade Commissioner in New Zealand. The Network continues to engage and have built a good working relationship with Magele who fully supports the Business Trip to Samoa.
"It has truly been a blessing for us to have great leaders who see the value in the work that we are doing and the vision that we are trying to achieve." Keil-Hall says referring to Fonoti and Magele. "We are also very grateful that Magele will be leading us on this trip." she says.
Through Fonoti and Magele, the Network managed to gain support of the Samoa government.
Keil-Hall explains that the focus of the business trip would be connecting the Samoan SME businesses from NZ with Samoan based SME businesses. Not only that but facilitating bringing a variety of initiatives and best practices to share with SMEs in Samoa. It is also an opportunity for Samoan SME businesses in NZ to come and experience what Samoa has to offer in terms of business investment and opportunities as some of the Samoan businesses here in NZ have expressed interest in setting up in Samoa.
Basically our objective is simply to foster SME to SME connections and scope business opportunities in Samoa. It is also an opportunity for SBN NZ Members and NZ SME businesses to meet SBN Samoa Members, build business relationships through B2B meetings, making connections with Samoa SME businesses, Government and Stakeholders, she continues.
SBN is now accepting 'expressions of interest' from its members, NZ businesses and now extending it to overseas businesses, who are interested in making business connections in Samoa - REGISTER INTEREST HERE
Expressions of Interest close 15 August, 2018.
The travel programme starts 14 November and ends 16 November 2018.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 021659072
A new business award category has been added to the Inaugural Samoa Business Network awards to be held in Auckland on September 28th.
The 'SUGA Business Woman of The Year Award' is a collaboration between the popular Samoan Women's Magazine and Samoa Business Network. The award recognises the outstanding achievements of young Samoan Businesswomen.
"The significance of this additional category reflects the rise and success of Samoan women in business," says Editor of SUGA Magazine Cecilia Sagote.
"Over the years I feel the business section of the magazine is increasing at a fast pace as I profile more and more success stories. It is obvious that more female entrepreneurs are realising the appeal of starting their own businesses.
"This trend is even more prevalent thanks to tools like social media and accessible online information which is changing the game and the way our women see 'work' and career. They are seeing the possibilities and flexibility of doing something they are passionate about and actually turning it into income."
SBN NZ Chairwoman Laura Keil-Hall says the award is open to all Samoan Business Women from anywhere in the world. She says the judges will be looking at business acumen, excellent leadership and what sets the business apart from others to name a few aspects.
"This is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate and recognise our women in business and it is very fitting to have SUGA Magazine come on board to sponsor this award," says Keil-Hall
She adds that since voting opened up last week for the awards, there has been an overwhelming response prompting SBN to open up another category 'The People's Choice' Favourite Business Award to all Samoan Businesses globally.
"Both the SUGA Business Woman of the Year and the People's Choice Awards are open to all Samoan businesses based internationally," she says. "It fits very well and inline with our vision which is to enable a worldwide network of Samoan businesses."
Check out SUGA Magazine Online - http://www.sugamagazineonline.com
Many people swear that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. That seems to be a sentiment that fits perfectly with local Samoan baker and owner of ‘Crazy Cakes’, Nydia Aloaina.
The 36 year old is raising three daughters, owns and operates a home based cakery, and has now taken on the role of marketing consultant at Vailima Breweries. Despite having major health issues in the past, Nydia has juggled all of her responsibilities like a pro, making hard work look like a breeze.
The reason for this becomes apparent as she talks about the lessons she hopes her children will learn through her work ethic. “I just want my kids to work as hard as they can, but not forget to enjoy what they do. Have passion and love for everything they do, because without it – the end product isn’t as great as it should be” Aloaina says.
Aloaina applies this to her own work, especially her baking. Despite being self taught, her cakes are in high demand, as she has been able to successfully refine her skills over the years.
Aloaina also revealed that she has strong support at home, “My kids help out a lot, because I’m a single Mum. The kids are also quite good at baking, they’ve basically memorised all the recipes. Sometimes, I’m so tired so they’ll do the mixing for me and wash all the dishes.
“As for balancing work and baking, I try and make sure that I take all of my orders for the weekends, rather than week days, so I don’t burn out.”
Despite having a huge customer base with frequent orders, Aloaina is humble when speaking about her baking skills. “It took me years to perfect cake decorating and I am still terrible at it, but I am much better than where I was.
“I am wistful of people who have had the opportunity to go to cake making school and learn all the different techniques for baking and decorating. I basically have Google and a picture in my mind.”
While she may not have professional training, she has serious creativity and determination – and her own ‘secret weapon’, “My middle daughter is my quality control. She will tell me if the cake is crooked, if the colours don’t match, and if it tastes yucky.”
Crazy Cakes was officially established before Mother’s Day, 2013, after Aloaina’s friends convinced her to sell her delectable cakes to the public. Before that, she had been providing her friends with baked goods for a long time.
5 years later, Crazy Cakes has become a household name on the Island. Aloaina says that feedback from her customers has been great over the years, “I have a huge following of loyal customers. Every now and then I’ll get the odd bad review, but I just take it with a grain of salt and just keep trying to improve, and create something that everyone likes.”
As for future plans, Aloaina hopes to one day move into a shop, “I’ve planned that for a long time but something always comes up and I put that idea to the side. But hopefully, eventually – I’ll open up a bakery, but – money talks!”
As to what’s consistently hot on her menu amongst customers, she said, “You can’t go wrong with chocolate cake, that’s what everyone loves. That’s my best seller and next would be red velvet.”
To order a cake for your next event, or just to treat yourself, you can find out how through the Crazy Cakes facebook page! - Crazy Cakes Samoa
Published on Samoa Planet on July 10, 2018 By Aria L. Sale
Original Article: http://www.samoaplanet.com/crazy-cakes-love-baking/
Nominations and applications for the 2018 SBN Business Awards are NOW OPEN!
This has been confirmed by Laura Keil-Hall, Co-founder & Chairwoman of Samoa Business Network. The official announcement of the Awards was made by Afamasaga Jackie Curry, SBN Samoa Chairwoman at the SBN & NZSTIC Independence Day Event held last month.
Keil-Hall says that this has been a long time coming and says it is important for us to recognise and celebrate Samoan entrepreneurial success and showcasing our Samoan business owners and operators and their achievements. She says, not only that, it is also acknowledging the contribution that the Samoan business community make to the NZ Economy. "This hasn't been done before and it is about time we do. This is also a way to encourage our people to be entrepreneurial and start thinking about starting a business", says Keil-Hall.
This year would be the Awards first year of inception and the Network is hoping to have this as a biennial event. Keil-Hall mentions that the event will be a double celebration to also mark 5 years since Samoa Business Network was formally established.
December last year saw the Network's Samoan branch hold it's very first SBN Business Innovation & Young Entrepreneur Awards to celebrate and recognise local businesses' efforts online. An initiative that was well received by its members and the local business community. SBN will be providing further support for these businesses in Samoa, by delivering a Digital Marketing Workshop in early August 2018.
The 2018 SBN Business Awards will pose 9 award categories:
Key dates to note:
Nomination/Application opening date - NOW
Closing date - 7 August
Finalists announced - 24 August
At this time, the Awards evening has been confirmed to take place on 28 September, 2018.
Laura and Afamasaga Jackie are urging all the Samoan businesses in New Zealand to apply. We have worked really hard to bring this initiative into fruition and we just want to honour and celebrate our hard working, successful Samoan businesses.
Some photos of the SBN Business Innovation & Young Entrepreneur Awards held at Kofe Haus in Samoa in December 2017
Shelley Burich is the business owner and the brains behind 'Vaoala Vanilla'.
Her business has been cultivating vanilla beans at her property in Vailima and is now selling high quality Vanilla Beans and Vanilla Products. The process of harvesting can take up to 5 years.
Vaoala Vanilla's aim is to produce premium Organic Vanilla beans and products, that are of 100% Samoan origin.
They are keen to connect with anyone that has connections into the high end Food Industry or retail stores in NZ and/or Australia. She is also interested in linking up with a boutique and organic packaging company particularly for organic vanilla pods.
To make contact:
Samoa Business Network Inc.
Connecting, Sharing, Celebrating & Promoting Samoan Businesses, Entrepreneurs & Professionals.
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