Celebrating Samoa Business Network’s fifth Anniversary

The Samoa Business Network (SBN) is thriving with success as it celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. 

SBN NZ Chairwoman Laura Keil-Hall, SBN Samoa Chairwoman Afamasaga Jackie Curry with Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale Chairman Poutasi Trust and Shelley Burich.

Highlighting its achievements are several activities in the pipeline including the inaugural SBN Business Awards in September and other announcements coming at the SBN AGM on Thursday, August 30.

In five years, SBN has flourished.  With one active organisation in Auckland and one in Samoa.  They had also supported the start of SBN Waikato in 2015 who have since re-branded as Waikato Pacific Business Network in 2016 and officially relaunched in May this year.  An SBN Australia branch is planned, working with existing Pacific business organisations and networks.

By all accounts SBN is riding high on a wave of momentum.  Living up to its aim of “Connecting, Sharing, Celebrating and Promoting Samoan Businesses, Entrepreneurs and Professionals” not least through its website: www.samoabusinessnetwork.org.

SBN’s Auckland branch was officially launched in 2013 by co-founders Laura Keil-Hall and Rasmus Pereira. Their aim was to bring together Samoan entrepreneurs and businesses to work together and support one another. They held networking and fundraising events.

SBN’s momentum continued in November 2016, Prime Minister of Samoa launched SBN’s Samoa branch.

This year SBN Samoa held their second AGM on August 8 at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel in Apia. SBN Auckland Chair Mrs Keil-Hall attended the event. New board members were endorsed at this meeting – Dinah Macdonald, Cecilia Keil, Eterei Maiava and Stephanie Solomona. The inaugural Chairperson Afamasaga Jackie Curry elected in 2017 and one other Executive Member, Etu Tusitala remained in their roles.

SBN Samoa had a busy year including four business networking events in 2017, a Business Innovation and Young Entrepreneurs Awards event, and two networking events so far in 2018 including a digital marketing workshop.

SBN Auckland and the New Zealand Samoa Trade and Investment Commission (NZSTIC) co-hosted Samoa Independence Day celebrations with a business-networking event.  SBN also has new online platform including a re-vamped website and private members forums for Samoa, New Zealand and Global members.

SBN Samoa Chairwoman Jackie Curry made several announcements at the event, including the inaugural SBN Business Awards would be held in September for ten awards for NZ based, Samoa based and international businesses. The applications closed on August 17 and the finalists will be announced on August 30 at the AGM.

In addition, SBN took another step forward attending the first Pacific Business Event held in Sydney, in support of Samoan and Pacific businesses in Australia.

Mrs Keil-Hall said SBN’s vision was to create a worldwide network of Samoan businesses, entrepreneurs and professions with a mission to providing a platform to network, collaborate and “…make a positive difference in our community.”

With this in mind, SBN is on its way with a planned celebration – the SBN Fifth Year Anniversary and Business Awards on Saturday 29th September in Auckland.  This will be followed by an official SBN New Zealand business trip to Samoa from 14-16 November 2018.

There are also plans to develop and support the growing Samoan fashion industry through training.  Another key SBN development will be the creation of a Pacific Hub, a shared office, retail and storage space in Auckland for the members of SBN.  They are also supporting the creation of the new Tonga Business Network in September this year.

For more information email PTI NZ Trade Development Manager Ian Furlong at ian.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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