Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) yesterday launched their new webpage to link women running all kinds of businesses with new and potential customers .

'Our new webpage provides a fantastic two way opportunity to promote partnerships. Businesswomen can promote and market their diverse businesses and potential customers including government and donors can see where to buy goods and services from local women,' said Julie Gegeu Haro Acting President of SIWIBA.

'Women are already leading the way with over 60 women running businesses listed on the webpage and more to come. Through our webpage, SIWIBA hopes to showcase the wonderful variety of businesses that women are now running throughout the Solomon Islands and to encourage more commercial opportunities for our members to grow their businesses,' said Mrs Haro.

The range of businesses listed on the webpage includes retail shops, real estate services, tailoring services, floral products and services, food including poultry, ice cream and baked goods. It covers both the formal sectors and the informal sectors with an emphasis on small businesses, at this stage.

At the same time, SIWIBA's webpage will be highlighting those women who are growing their businesses and it already includes some who are exporting their goods.

Through projects such as this new webpage, SIWIBA is developing strong partnerships across the private sector with mainstream groups such as Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI). This is an innovative approach which involves SIWIBA working in partnership within the mainstream to empower women and build our nation together.

SIWIBA's mission is to promote, develop and empower women's participation in the private sector.

According to SIWIBA, while we have seen women's empowerment grow in other areas, economic empowerment is still to be achieved for women in the Solomon Islands.

SIWIBA is a voluntary non-profit association made up of Solomon Islander women who are in business. SIWIBA was established in 2005 and currently has over 50 members. There are over 100 women entrepreneurs in the capital city (Honiara) who have been operating businesses for some years now.

These businesses have been providing employment and women have been using their earnings to support their families. Children have gained better access to education and health services and their standard of living has generally improved.

SIWIBA aims to promote and build opportunities for the women of Solomon Islands to participate in business at all levels, initially focusing on small and medium size enterprises. SIWIBA's activities include to:
.provide support and mentoring to women entrepreneurs
.promote networking, collaboration and peer support among business women in Solomon Islands
.support women in increasing their participation in public life in Solomon Islands
.develop and maintain relationships with government, donor/ development partners and other stakeholders to access resources to meet the needs of our members and
.do all things that help to advance SIWIBA's core mission.

To find out more visit 'women in business'.

Source: Press Release, Solomon Islands Women in Business Association