BY JOY OFASIA
SALOME Maraitehi has gone from selling cakes for a few cents to being a shopkeeper and caterer with big plans for setting up a conference centre.
Salome, who lives in Kirakira, Maikira province, got into business in the 1990s, selling cakes, cigarettes and fish and chips at the Kirakira market.
“When I first started my marketing, my cakes were sold for 20 cents, cigarettes for 50 cents and fish and chips for $5,” she explained.
“I was faithful to my market because I had a goal that I wanted to achieve as quickly as possible,” she said.
Determined to grow her business she bought a mobile phone so she could provide a pre-pay top up service.
“Now I was down with business every day aiming to achieve a good income at the end of each day,” Salome said.
The top up service went really well and in 2001 she started to buy materials to build accommodation to put up for rent.
Salome’s daily goal was to save $100 every day.
Finally, in 2008 she managed to start a shop with the $10,000 she had saved from her enterprise.
Today, Salome has left the market and now has her own shop as well as being engaged in sewing.
Salome shared the challenges she faced when she first started her business.
“I was the only women in Kirakira who sold cakes to earn money. All other people sold other products such as betel nut, food crops and vegetables.
“Fear was one of my biggest challenges when I first started selling my cakes. But thankfully my husband encouraged me a lot to go on,” she explained.
Salome has found doing business in Kirakira very successful. She said that it all depends on how serious you are in doing your business.
“My next plan is to build another house which will contain a conference room for people to hire for workshops and programs,” she said.
This plan arose because she caters for many programs and training sessions in Kirakira and so building a conference room will connect with all the services that she plans to provide.
“I would like to encourage women to be strong and get into business,” she said.
“It all starts small and you can easily achieve your goal but you must have aim for success.”