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Parent’s sacrifice pays off

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A foreign investor who owns one of Samoa’s well known clothing outlets, Value Village, has won recognition in her homeland Fiji as Businesswoman of the Year.

Hundreds of people turned up at the Novotel Entertainment Centre in Lami last week to recognise and celebrate the commercial success of women in Fiji.

Women in Business Award Businesswoman of the Year Vera Chute Laveti said the risks her parents took 23 years ago had paid off. Ms Chute who is the managing director of Value City Limited said the award was in recognition of her parent’s hard work.

“Winning this award is in recognition and appreciation of my parent’s foresight hard work and sacrifices,” she said.

Ms Chute said because of her parent’s sacrifices they now had seven branches, three warehouses Fiji wide, franchises in Samoa, Solomon Islands and Kiribati.

Her Fiji company, Tuliki Investments, owns 55 of 100 shares in Value Village (SP) Ltd, with the other 45 shares held by Adimaimalaga Tafunai.

Ms. Chute told Fiji Times women should be recognised for their hard work. “We should be recognised for our hard work, resilience and dedication to succeed in what once was predominantly a man’s world,” Ms Chute said.

She wants to be more involved in assisting women in small business ventures related to their business. Ms Chute plans to work with WIB Fiji in line with their objectives and plans for this year.

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She thanks organisers and sponsors for organising an event to celebrate commercial success of women in Fiji.

Virisila Buadromo, the executive director of the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement (FWRM) was awarded with the Executive Women of the Year Award.

She regards herself as one of the lucky ones given she is paid for work that she is so passionate about.

She strongly believes in the vision and mission of FWRM which motivates her team to work toward their goals. One of her key ideals is that the race is not determined by where you start but where you finish.

Her mother Liku Buadromo was present to receive the award on her behalf. Mrs Buadromo said Virisila had gone through a lot of difficulties, but never gave up. She thanked the Almighty for his protection and guidance and this she said was evident in Virisila’s life and the awards she had won.

Aspring Enterprenuer of the Year was awarded to Beatice Nast who is the managing director and shareholder for Westside Motorbike Rentals (Fiji) Limited operated out of Nadi.

Ms Nast said one of her main challenge was being a woman working in a male dominated industry like motorcycles.

It took a long time for staff members to accept her as the owner and decision maker, but she managed to overcome this by working together with them on the floor, learning their language and proving to them that women could be equals. – with reporting by Nanise Loanakadavu, Fiji Times

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