Women entrepreneurs develop public speaking and leadership skills

Mentoring, public speaking skills, financial management and helping women entrepreneurs at various stages of their business cycle to grow, are a few of the upcoming activities that the Women Entrepreneurs Business Council (WEBC) has been able to undertake with the support of the Fiji Women’s Fund.

Bridging the Gap
WEBC has been travelling around Fiji to work with women entrepreneurs on a new programme called Bridging the Gap.  The programme is a series of workshops and awareness sessions that aim to help informal sector women business owners’ transition to more formal registered business structures. In these workshops, established women entrepreneurs provide advice and guidance on a variety of business issues and the opportunity is also used to hold sessions on financial literacy training (cash flow management), agriculture training and on ideation.

The first workshop was held in Lautoka on 25 September and was attended by 38 women. Some of the attendees traveled from Tavua, Yasawa, Ba, Sigatoka, and Nadi, just to be part of the session.  WEBC Coordinator, Fiona Dansey said the sessions were so successful that they were also able to recruit new members from these areas.  WEBC will hold sessions in Labasa (17 October), Savusavu (18 October) and Suva (29 November).

WEBC has organised an eight-week mentoring programme for seven of its members with nine leading business and industry professionals.  The programme aims to help develop, grow and scale up the businesses of these women by providing them with the right advice and expertise of those that have already made it in business. Each week, the mentees must complete various sessions and tasks as part of the learning. The programme runs from 19 September – 14 November.

Public Speaking
Public speaking can be a very daunting task, especially for those who have an actual fear of being put on the spot and made to speak in front of crowds. However, being able to communicate effectively is a life skill that’s important to progress in life, influence decisions and motivate change.

WEBC arranged a six-week public speaking and leadership course with the Capital Toastmasters Club in Suva for its members. The course was attended by 20 of its members, two of which travelled every Monday from Nadi.

Newly appointed WEBC Vice Chair Neelam Maharaj says that the Toast Masters sessions have really helped to develop her confidence.  “I can already see a difference in the way I am interacting with my clients and in my new role on the WEBC Board, I will need this skill for the many upcoming speaking opportunities.”

About WEBC
WEBC is one of the nine councils under the Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation.  Created in 2011 from a call to have a more varied inclusive voice in the business community, WEBC’s primary objective is to ensure the voice of formal and informal sector businesswomen is heard at the policy level. WEBC members range from some informal businesses to more corporate businesses. WEBC engages with women entrepreneurs and women in the corporate sector at all levels and at all stages in their business life-cycle. This includes women employed in other industries or in the informal sector, women starting their own businesses, and women in mature and established businesses.
For more information, please contact Fiona Dansey: webc@fcef.com.fj