News : Company Hopes Award Will Inspire Pacific and Maori
Wellington, New Zealand, July 11, 2016 -- The winners of a category in the Wellington Gold Awards hopes their win will inspire other Pacific and Maori people to consider starting their own business.
Connect Global is owned by Siuai and Serena Fiso and based in Porirua, north of Wellington. The successful contact centre took out the Supporting Gold award.
More than a thousand people attended the 2016 awards event and this year's theme was Pacific. In February Connect Global opened a second centre in Ruatoria on the East Coast, creating 14 new jobs. With another opportunity to expand, it also decided to set up in South Taranaki and hopes to have that office up and running by September. Siuai Fiso says it can be hard work starting your own business but there's support out there.
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Siuai Fiso: "If you've got a good idea and it's something that you are really passionate about, then just go for it, just do it, there's a lot of support services around where people can give you advice or help things like that but the key thing is that if it's something you really want to do and you are passionate about it, just go for it."
Mr Fiso says the company has been lucky over the last few years with good clients, great staff and good support networks. Serena Fiso says she hopes Maori and Pacific peoples will be inspired by them to look at running their own business.
Serena Fiso: "For them to really reach out and rise up and to grow and forward, so if we can lead that way and be a role model and an inspiration to help others, then we are doing a great job and that's what it's all about."
Siuai Fiso says there's been talk over the last few years about expanding into the Pacific. The Conch, an acclaimed Wellington based theatre company, specialises in telling Pacific stories through a unique blend of visual magic, spoken work and original. it was a finalist in the Creative Gold category. One of its artistic directors, Nina Nawalowalo, says being able to tell Pacific stories by Pacific people, and working with young people has been a real privilege. Luamanuvao Winnie Laban is the patron of the Wellington Pasifika Business Network, and she says there are opportunities out there for Pacific people looking to start their own business.
Luminuvao Winnie Laban: "We know that part of independence is to be economically independent and it's important that we grow our peoples confidence to own their own businesses and be their own boss."
This is the 18th year of the Gold awards and John Dow, the director of the awards, says it has had over 2000 businesses in the Wellington region go through the awards.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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