BY GEORGINA KEKEA
“SOMETIMES I feel that I have been neglecting my children and I try to balance work with family and it is quite difficult trying to maintain that balance. But when I won this award, I feel as if my hard work had paid off.”
Mrs Jesca Theokheranga was the woman who won the Gold plaque or first prize of the CBSI award for Women in micro-business 2018 that also includes a cash of $10,000.
Initiated in 2015, the Women in Micro-business awards was endorsed by the National Financial Inclusion Taskforce (NFIT) to support the financial inclusion of rural women’s participation in financial services. NFIT consists of representatives from the government, private sector, non-government, civil societies, women’s groups and donors and is chaired by the Governor of CBSI.
The awards this year is the second biennial award ceremony for women in micro-business.
Held yesterday in a simple ceremony in Honiara, the micro-business award recognises women micro businesses that have potential to impact lives and contribute to economic growth in the Solomon Islands.
Speaking to Island Sun, Financial Inclusion Manager of CBSI, Linda Folia says the process to select the awardees had not been easy. She says the process began in October 2017 and includes site visits to the businesses establishment.
“It had been grueling but full filling.”
She says for the women, this award will assist them in gaining recognition from businesses and stakeholders which will be a boost for them.
Also speaking to Island Sun, first prize winner, Mrs Theokheranga, says the win was quite a surprise for her.
“I am really encouraged and it has given me a reason to continue to work hard in my business. I encourage young girls and women not to give up but must continue to work hard. We must be determined, disciplined and must be willing to work and be honest in order for us to be successful,” Theokheranga says.
Meanwhile, third prize award winner, Esther Tali Suti, a honey producer from Simbo says it only comes back to people’s attitude. She says everyone alike need to change how they portray government’s assistance.
“So many times we think that government has not been supportive. But for me, I believe government has been supportive. Most times we rely on government for handouts. This is not the only support from government,” Mrs Suti says.
She says women should make use of the constituency funds available and not only ask for handout assistance. She says government play a crucial role in ensuring programs like the one witnessed now benefitted people in rural areas.
The five award winners for the CBSI Women in micro business 2018 are selected from 112 nominations.
They are Mrs Ruth Lolo, poultry producer from Guadalcanal, Mrs Jemimah Ellen, Cocoa producer from Guadalcanal, Mrs Esther Tali Suti, honey producer from Simbo, Mrs Lucy Kasimwane, cocoa producer from Makira and Mrs Jesca Theokheranga, copra and cocoa producer from Vella la Vella.