New opportunity

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Women entrepreneurs (standing) Elizabeth Pickering of Marama Vanilla, Mele Wakolo of JBros, Wati Talavutu of Creations23 and Rigieta Nuku of Rigis Art and Craft with (seated) WEBC co-ordinator Fiona Uagunu, French Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Laurence Brattin-Nerriere, and WEBC acting chair Sharyne Fong. Picture: SUPPLIED

A longstanding relationship between the French Embassy in Fiji and the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) has contributed to allowing a group of local women entrepreneurs to access a new market by showcasing and selling their wares at the Faire du Pacifique in New Caledonia next month.

The Faire du Pacifique (Pacific Fair) is a business-to-consumer fair which gathers around 250 exhibitors and between 25,000 to 30,000 visitors each year, a significant market for the WEBC members that will be in attendance.

With a major central space allocated to 32 Fijian vendors, the seven women from WEBC have a lot to look forward to. Council co-ordinator Fiona Uagunu said, “The women are excited, our members are excited. This is one of the items mandated in our strategic plan; we’ve always tried to uplift the entrepreneurs that aren’t yet export ready.”

“This is a very good platform to prepare them for that. I’m excited and I’m so very grateful to the French Embassy for their continuous support,” she said.

The French Embassy has supported several WEBC projects and initiatives over the past five years including funding the council’s strategic plan workshop, and entrepreneur-focused Bastille Day events.

The council also expressed appreciation to their liaisons at New Caledonia Pacific Trade and Investment Fiji for their support.

Not only will the ambitious and motivated women attend the fair, the council has also organised networking opportunities for the entrepreneurs in the form of peer-to-peer learning and tours of woman owned businesses in New Caledonia.

The Faire du Pacifique will be held in Nouméa from October 6 to 8, 2023.

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