Suva, Fiji – On December 4, U.S. Embassy Suva hosted the AWEsome Fiji Holiday Fair at Thurston Gardens. The Fair showcased the products of women entrepreneurs participating in the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE). AWE is a U.S. Government-funded program that provides women entrepreneurs with the skills, resources, and networks needed to start and grow successful businesses. Since its inception, AWE has trained nearly 300 Fijian women in the fundamentals of business development. The Embassy has partnered with the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) and the Makoi Women’s Vocational Centre to implement the AWE program in Fiji.
In his welcome remarks, Chargé d’affaires Tony Greubel stated “My colleagues and I are delighted to showcase the work of the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs participants for the second year in a row. We are excited about their success and honored to support strong, creative women to learn from each other and gain the skills needed to support their businesses, communities, and the local economy, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The AWEsome Holiday Fair featured clothing, jewelry, fabric, home décor, Christmas crafts, and a variety of foods, including fresh produce, preserved foods, pastries, and savory snacks. Beyond earning income from the fair, the AWE participants applied the lessons learned from their AWE workshops in a real-world context.
AWE participants represent diverse backgrounds and levels of business expertise. They include both new and seasoned women entrepreneurs between the ages of 18-65 and hail from urban and rural communities in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Each AWE participant was selected from a pool of WEBC members, Makoi students, and local communities.