Couple empower iTaukei owned businesses

January 5, 2022 4:21 pm

A Mexican-American couple is giving iTaukei owned businesses in Taveuni a platform to grow and expand their ventures.

Suzanne and Guillermo Camerena Vasques run a dive shop in Naqara and have been in Fiji for around four years.

They are keen on helping locals run and operate their own businesses in the public space.

Article continues after advertisement

Vasques told FBC News, the disparity in the make-up of entrepreneurs in Fiji prompted them to help grow iTaukei owned businesses.

“We noticed that throughout Fiji very few Fijians were business owners and yet they are 75 erc3nt of the customers. So, they are the higher majority of the customers but they are the minority business owners. So, we wanted to try and help Fijians to learn how to become business owners, at least in Taveuni.”

Last year, the couple convened a business boot camp for several existing iTaukei business owners in Taveuni, teaching them the basics of running a business.

And, to help them get off the ground, the couple has leased a building in Naqara where the entrepreneurs can operate their businesses from.

Amongst businesses that will be set up and run locally are a supermarket, a welding shop, an eatery, a dive shop, and several clothing shops.

A total of eight entrepreneurs are currently involved in this venture.