When the COVID pandemic started to affect the hotel industry in Fiji, Alisi Koroveibau made a bold decision to adapt to this unanticipated challenge. She came up with a plan to become an entrepreneur and join the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) after losing her job at one of the hotels, and being unable to join her partner overseas.
“I wanted to do something that would allow me to give back to my community and add happiness to peoples’ lives. I approached a church-based primary school out from Lokia landing in Nausori where the only means of transport was by boat. I wanted to sell quality, healthy meals for the children at their school canteen.”
Even though Alisi received an approval from the school to sell food, she knew unlocking the key to success and starting up a business wouldn’t be straightforward. Alisi’s difficulty was that the school did not have a kitchen where she could prepare meals. It would cost her $1,000 to renovate a spare room into a canteen. Although she didn’t have the funds for such an expenditure, Alisi stood firm in her path.
“I’ve come to learn that inspirations share similar struggles and to never give up when things do not turn in your favor in the first instance,” said Alisi. “For me, success is when I am thrown into a challenging situation and I find myself having the freedom to choose how I can be different to overcome the situation.”
“AWE workshops have been a great eye-opener which built my self confidence in the work that I do to maintain my business and helping me understand sales and marketing very well. I think AWE has taught me to treat my business with priority if I expect others to do the same.”
After receiving some helpful advice from her family, Alisi is now into doing door to door sales of her very own custom-made savories which she sells quickly and is seeing a growing demand. Alisi anticipates by the next school year, she will have collected enough funds to renovate the school kitchen and be ready to start her dream business.
“I want to encourage other women entrepreneurs to embrace their ideas and find their personal version of happiness rather than waiting for others idea of success. Although it takes money to make money, I hope by sharing my story, I can inspire others that there is always a blessing in disguise, so stay motivated to following your dream in becoming a successful entrepreneur.”