Stories from Around the Region

Waimana Va’a, from hobby to business

Waimana Va’a, from hobby to business

Soft-spoken and shy would be the words one would use upon first meeting Stanley Ooms, owner of Waimana Va’a, a company that manufactures fibreglass and composite products from outrigger canoes (va'a) long boats and also do tooling (moulding) for new products as per customer requirements.

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Mailelani Samoa, a (business) love story

Mailelani Samoa, a (business) love story

Blessings and gifts from heaven were what Kitiona and Sylvie Salanoa hoped to spread in their beloved island country when they began their business in the small kitchen of their home more than a decade and half ago. But if there is one thing you should know about Mailelani Samoa, it should be that theirs is more than a business journey, it is in fact, a love story. If Kitiona who is from Samoa had not met his Sylvie who is originally from Switzerland through mission work in Hawai’i many moons ago, then there would be no Mailelani Samoa. Sylvie admits, “When I met Kitiona then, we fell in love and that was it! Samoa became my home."

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Collective impact in the Solomon Islands

Collective impact in the Solomon Islands

Born and raised in the Solomon Islands, Bob Pollard, the Managing Director of Kokonut Pacific Solomon Islands (KPSI) is passionate about making sure the company’s focus on creating sustainable livelihoods for their rural communities stays true day in and day out. KPSI presently works with more than 50 village producers across the Solomon Islands and sources from over 3,500 hectares of Certified Organic plantations owned by more than 1,000 farmers across the country. And they are aiming to add more. Over 60% of oil revenue goes back to communities which provides an income to over 5,000 people.

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Pacific Ocean Culture, a true example of a People, Planet and Profit venture

Pacific Ocean Culture, a true example of a People, Planet and Profit venture

The ocean is the Pacific’s lifeblood, and it is keeping the oceanic waters in Fiji pristine that is Pacific Ocean Culture’s lasting legacy. Pacific Ocean Culture is an integrated aquaculture company that has a sustainable seafood vision for Fiji and the Pacific. Setting up first in Vanuatu in 2006, the Vate Ocean Gardens was the largest single producer of cultivated fish in the Pacific before Cyclone Pam devastated much of the islands. The company, registered as Pacific Ocean Culture PTE Ltd in Fiji, has recently began operations in a Navua farm where where they see significant opportunities and a greater social, economic and environmental impact that would benefit many people.

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The Hot Bread Kitchen, 34 years on

The Hot Bread Kitchen, 34 years on

Iconic, legendary, an institution. These are the words that come to mind in an attempt to describe Fiji’s largest chain of bakeries that has been in business for over 30 years. And like all other businesses, the Hot Bread Kitchen (HBK) was born out of an idea. It was inspired by a concept in Australia in the 70’s that founder Dr Mere Samisoni chanced upon while she was there with her late husband, Dr Jimione Samisoni, who was completing his studies then.

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