The Fiji Development Bank last week launched its first ever Small & Medium Enterprises Awards at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.
“After 10 years of hosting the FDB Small Business Awards, we have expanded the criteria of the awards to include the SME Enterprises and relaunch it as the FDB Small & Medium Enterprises Awards,” FDB acting Chief Executive Officer Mr. Nafitalai Cakacaka said.
“SMEs have been dubbed the engines of growth and FDB is at the forefront of ensuring that there is a conducive environment for SMEs to thrive and are also rewarded through awards such as these.”
The theme for the awards is ‘SMEs – the drivers of our future growth’ is to highlight the outstanding achievement of small and medium enterprises and their potential in the trade and business arena. In addition, it is to encourage and appreciate them in their capacities to enhance and develop the national economy in line with Government efforts to increase economic diversification activities.
Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Islands Private Sector Organisations (PIPSO) Ms. Mereia Volavola, who was chief guest at the launch highlighted that SMEs are very important to the economy in creating economic activities, exports, investment, employment, reducing poverty and developing the internal capacities of the country.
The awards are divided into five (5) major categories namely; Agriculture, Tourism, Manufacturing, Wholesale & Retail and the Professional & Business Services category. All these categories are further divided into two (sub-categories) with Agriculture divided as Livestock/Aquaculture and Livestock farming categories whilst the other major categories are divided as Sole Traders and Partnerships/Companies/Cooperative.
A total of $35,000 is up for grabs at the awards whilst each winner from the respective categories and sub-categories will receive $2,500. All finalists are then considered for the four (4) Jury prizes which are the Best Business Practice Award, Best Risk Management Award, Special Award and the SME of the Year Award. Each winner from these jury prizes will also receive $2,500.
Entry into the awards is free and entry forms are available from all 11 FDB Branches Fiji wide including sponsor outlets and these are; Reserve Bank of Fiji; the Fiji Times; Crest Chicken; Life Insurance Corporation of India; New India Assurance and Sun Insurance Ltd.
Entry forms are also available online at www.fdb.com.fj
Entries close on the 22nd September, 2014