Tuesday 7 March 2017
The Solomon Islands Professional Women’s Network (SIPNET) successfully marked the Internationally Women’s Day with a SICCI Business Breakfast on Tuesday morning.
Over a hundred men and women joined SIPNET – a record Breakfast attendance – at the Heritage Park Hotel celebrating the achievements of women in business and leadership as well as discussing some of the challenges women faced in leadership and in managerial roles.
SIPNET is an initiative by the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) and International Finance Corporation (IFC). The network is driven by the SICCI/IFC Gender Programme which aims to empower and assist women in the Solomon Islands private sector.
The breakfast included remarks from Vsevolod Payevskiy, IFC Resident Representative, Solomon Islands and the Australian High Commissioner H.E Rod Brazier, who gave the introductory speech.
SICCI’s CEO Dennis Meone took lead in a panel discussion with guest speakers Lyn Fa’arodo, Head of Retail at the ANZ Bank, and Dr Allice Pollard, a champion in Women’s Savings Club and Board member of Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF).
Dr Pollard inspired the audience by sharing her story of growing up in the rural community before moving to Honiara at mid high school in her pursuant to become an influential figure she is today. “Women are important partners and can add value to the socio-economic development of the country,” she said.
“Sometime it requires a little bit of support, a little push to move forward or a lending hand to hold on to. We just need to give women the opportunities to shine.”
She repeatedly told her motivated audience on the values of work commitment.
Ms Fa’arodo who has more than 20 years of banking experience spoke about her experience as a senior manager and the balance of managing work expectations, culture and family life.
“At the workplace I lead a team, but when I get home, I am answerable to my other boss – my husband,” she said distinguishing the parallels of leadership, gender and the male superiority context of Solomon Islands culture.
Ms Fa’arodo acknowledged her supportive spouse and called for men to support their women in their working careers. This call was also reiterated by Dr Pollard acknowledging that women need the support of men in all spheres of life.
Among the breakfast attendants were members of the Honiara Market Vendors Association who received the International Women’s Day Award presented by the Australian High Commissioner.
The SIPNET Breakfast is the second breakfast event by the women’s networking group after it was launched in December 2016.
Members of SIPNET will join the International Women’s Day march in Honiara on Wednesday 8th March.
The network is intended to provide a forum for professional women of all backgrounds to share their stories, develop leadership skills, and build supportive professional relationships. The network will specifically support the personal development of women currently in professional and/or managerial roles.
Friday 3 March 2017
Members of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) joined Aspen Medical on Thursday morning at a SICCI Business Breakfast event in Honiara as the healthcare providers explore options to enter the local market.
The medical providers were contracted with the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) since 2004 to provide healthcare services for those serving under RAMSI in the Solomon Islands.
The breakfast coordinated by SICCI, was to give Aspen the opportunity to meet with the business community and gauge feedback including understanding their future plans.
There was growing interest from the business community for such facility to be established in Honiara so that people can easily access the services that are not available at the National Referral Hospital and also access advanced technology and medical infrastructure for quick diagnosis including accessing highly trained specialist in different medical disciplines.
Founded in 2003, Aspen Medical is a global provider of guaranteed, innovative and tailored healthcare solutions across a diverse range of sectors – providing from a single paramedic to a full spectrum solution.
Today the company operate across Australia, the Pacific, Africa, the Gulf region, the UK and the USA with more than 2,500 employees.
The Business Breakfast is one of SICCI’s ongoing networking events exclusively reserved for its members as part of the Chamber’s network services. Members have the opportunity to host a morning breakfast event with SICCI to showcase, inform or present themselves to the business community. Occasionally, government representatives and other stakeholders are invited to talk on issues that are of interest to businesses. The programme is a slighter version of the fortnightly SICCI Business After 5 (BA5) which in contrast takes place during the evenings.
Thursday 2 March 2017
Forty participants successfully completed a three-day business training workshop under the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) business training programme with Learn.fast Pacific.
The workshop hosted a wide variety of individuals from small business owners to large business employees under the banner “Your Business in 2017 – Being the Best You Can Be”.
The focus of the training was to assist businesses especially, Small Medium Enterprises (SME), build their capacity and grow their business.
The training covers three key aspect of any business operation; exploring effective leadership and getting the best out of people, strategic and operational planning including sound financial management, and reducing business stress in business. The programme is designed to help participants reflect on how well prepared they are for the year with a focus on core fundamental issues that will help their business grow.
“SICCI as the peak representative body of the Solomon Islands Private Sector is committed to assisting businesses grow and improve their capacity” says SICCI’s CEO Dennis Meone.
The workshop was designed to help businesses see things differently and change the way they do things for the better, he further added.
“It was a very fruitful workshop, especially for someone like me who is new to doing business,” said participant Henry Maea who runs a security firm in Northeast Guadalcanal.
“For us small businesses, this was an exciting event because we talked and were taught about leadership in businesses, stress in business and business planning, skills that are really needed in operating a business”
“It was worth it,” he added.
The same tone was shared among many of the participants who most agree that the Chamber should organise more business trainings.
SICCI Membership & Services Officer, Neil Nuia who coordinates and hosts SICCI events and trainings, said 2017 is anticipated to be an eventful year with many more planned trainings and networking events.
“The feedback from this training was very positive and there was this shared urge of wanting more of this. Definitely, you can expect more of this in the coming months,” he assured.
The training was delivered by Chris Elphick of Learn.fast Pacific.
Wednesday 1 March 2017
Executive members of the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI) on Tuesday hosted a courtesy visit by the new CEO of Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA), Mr Eranda Kotelawala.
The CEO was met by SICCI Chairman, Jay Bartlett, Board Treasurer, Jan Arie Smit, SICCI’s CEO, Dennis Meone and Business Analyst, Charles Perrson.
The meeting was the first formal opportunity for SICCI to meet the new CEO and formally welcome him in his new role.
It was a fruitful engagement where both parties acknowledged the fundamental roles they play in the business environment and the importance of working closely to address some of the issues regarding Ports, including improving efficiency within the Ports.
In his remarks, Chairman, Mr Bartlett welcomed Mr Kotelawala and offered SICCI’s strong support and willingness to work closely with SIPA.
“SICCI is a member driven organization and as the peak body representing the private sector we are always willing to collaborate, explore opportunities and harness support to assist ongoing efforts to improve efficiency within SIPA,” says Mr Bartlett.
In addition, SICCI’s CEO Mr Meone acknowledges the fact that SIPA remains an important stakeholder of the business community, and SICCI values ongoing dialogue and sharing of information so that businesses are better informed and kept engaged in SIPA’s long term plans.
Mr Kotelawala briefly talked about his plans for SIPA which includes working closely with important stakeholders such as SICCI, the business community, port users and shipping agents. One of the top priorities according to Mr Kotelawala is to improve the overall efficiency at the ports.
SICCI looks forward to working closely with the new CEO, the SIPA Board, and SIPA management, and strongly supports their efforts to improve the efficiency of ports in Solomon Islands.