Small businesses, young entrepreneurs, students and the public flocked the National Museum in Honiara on Tuesday, as the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) hosted the 2017 Small Medium Enterprise (SME) Open Day.

Held in collaboration with the Solomon Islands Small Business Enterprise Centre (SISBEC) and the Ministry of Commerce, the Open Day involved a panel discussion of successful entrepreneurs, keynote remarks from the Ministry of Commerce, youths’ participation and a student speech competition.

About a dozen businesses took the opportunity to showcase their products and services with booths set up around the compound for public viewing.

The Permanent Secretary for the Ministry Commerce, Mr Hunter Masuguria delivered the keynote address and highlighted the importance of micro and small medium enterprises including outlining the work his ministry is undertaking to assist SMEs.

The panel discussion included well experienced and successful businessmen and women who were able to share their business journey, including highlighting key challenges and providing useful advice to the audience and participants. Members of the panel include; Kathy Nori of Nofokava Construction, Dalcy Tekulu president of SIWIBA, Nina Tuhaika of SIWIBA and Chris Elphick director of Learn.fast Pacific.

The panel was joined by two young successful entrepreneurs in Millicent Barty of Millicent Designs and Tyson Nare of Youth@Work who gave moving presentations on the struggles faced by young people in business.

Other speakers include CEO of SICCI Dennis Meone and General Manager of SISBEC Ben Nginabule.

CEO Mr Meone said the event was a success and achieved its objective in encouraging and promoting entrepreneurship amongst small businesses, young entrepreneur’s, youths, students and other stakeholders.

According to Mr Meone, the event is extra special because this year the event was hosted with the strong support of the Ministry of Commerce – a reflection of true partnership between the private and public sector.

SICCI also used the opportunity to launch their new website that was built by Pasifik Cloud with support from Adkonect. The website can be visited on SICCI’s current web address www.solomonchamber.com.sb   

Entertainment were provided by hip-hop dance crew Mid West and solo artist George Hiri, who is the former lead guitarist and vocalist for gospel band Scripture Vibration.

The Open Day is now an annual event and was initiated in 2016. The idea of the open day is to promote entrepreneurship and small business development amongst the different sectors of our community. It aims to bring key stakeholders who have common interest in business to share and learn from each other. 

The Chamber and SISBEC would like to thank main sponsors of the event, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Nofokava Construction Ltd and Learn.fast Pacific.

About the author

Ernest Ta’asi is the Chamber's Media & Communications Officer. Ernest writes most of the Chamber's media releases. He also manages the website contents, designs the Chamber's monthly newsletter, brochures and maintains the organisation's visual branding. 

Ernest can be contacted on email: media@solomonchamber.com.sb 

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