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Welcome by FDB Chief Executive Officer, Ratu Deve Toganivalu on the occasion of the launch of the 2011 FDB Small Business Awards
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30 August 2011

A very good morning and a warm welcome to you all.

Today, we launch of the 8th annual Fiji Development Bank Small Business Awards. When we first started this endeavour, we did so to acknowledge and show appreciation to small businesses that have made an outstanding contribution to Fiji’s business landscape and to the economy.

Earlier this year, we reviewed the awards and decided that we needed to update it a little so that it continues to remain relevant and retains its place as the premier recognition award from small businesses that perform outstandingly in the various categories. In that regard, the main categories remain - namely:

1. Agriculture;
2. Professional & Business Services;
3. Tourism;
4. Manufacturing; and
5. Wholesale/Retail .

These sectors have been determined by Government as the new engines of growth for Fiji. That said, the theme chosen this year, Growing Fiji, further reflects that sentiment and further enhances Government’s efforts to reduce reliance on imported goods and encourage locals to buy locally grown and produced goods.

Previously, in addition to the previously mentioned categories, we
also had an Open category for those businesses that didn’t fit into any of the five named previously. This category has now been renamed the Special Award. The Special Award was created to give recognition to those small businesses that show the following qualities:

1. Environmental considerations in the conduct of their
business. This could include the use of renewable energy, waste management, use of recycled materials etc; and.
2. Unique, in that it is innovative, breaks new ground and best depicts the spirit of entrepreneurship.

At FDB, we believe that if small businesses show environmental consideration at this stage of their development, then the sustainability of their particular enterprise in the long term is almost assured. Understandably, it is sometimes not cost-efficient or cost-effective to take the environmental high road therefore, only an exceptional business would and this business should therefore be given the recognition due.

Similarly, small businesses are more often than not, carbon copies
of each other – further competing for the already limited dollar, goods and services. The real entrepreneur is the one who recognizes a new need, a gap in the delivery of products and services and accordingly, creates an enterprise that will address this – profitably of course. This too, we believe should be recognized and rewarded.

Additionally, the Overall Category awarded previously has been
renamed the Best Business Practice Award. This award will be given to that business that clearly shows that it is a properly managed enterprise – that is, it has a business plan, proper
employment records for staff, does monthly P&Ls etc.

All entries into either of the five main awards will be also be
considered for the Special Award and the Best Business Practice Award based on the level of information provided and what is observed on the ground when our team of judges visit those businesses that have been shortlisted.

Thank you.
 
 
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