This is a highlight story of Aldrin Olava Piohite who is a member of the Young Entrepreneurs Council Solomon Islands and also the winner of the 2022 YECSI Most Improved Male Entrepreneur award.
I was part of the first Ennovation Blo Iumi (EBI) pilot program back in 2020, where we add value and create new innovative business ideas. Long story short, we pitched our business ideas but unfortunately my idea did not make it to the incubation stage.
Looking back to the efforts and time I spent ideating and making business plans during the course of the EBI Program, I then decided to carry on with my business idea. With no capital nor financial support else-where, I took on the challenge and started my first pilot start-up business on the 7th day of December 2020 in Noro Town, Western Province.
I then register the business carrying the business name “Kava Haus Solomon” on the 19th day of March 2021.
The post covid-19 outbreak had really put us to a point where the business was in a cash scrapped situation but with a more resilient mindset to take risks and seek soft loans made us float for the sake of keeping the business going.
A major one would be the support from Ministry of Commerce, Labor, Industry and Immigration under the Industries Division for a grinding machine, materials and equipment late mid last year. This really boost our production level and also gave us the capacity to build our mini-facility, currently under-way here in Noro.
We also managed to start our first merchandise sales (T-Shirts) here in Noro, which purposely to capture people’s attention given that kava is somehow a new thing here and as part of our advertisements also.
Not only that, we then start our pilot project on the making of kava tools and accessories. So we started making kava dispenser cloths, scoops and bowls. We are still testing and learning our arts & crafts specialists on how to make those tools & accessories, however the good news is, we have few stocks on our shelves that are already in the market.
2022 was really a challenging year but despite the tremendously negative impact covid-19 caused, we were so fortunate and thankful for the timely support rendered to us by our relevant government authorities and individuals as well.
It is a challenge for us to maintain being resilient, persistent from now on but most importantly trying to be sustainable for the continuous growth of the business and contribute to the economy.