Women in entrepreneurship has allowed them a space to grow and expand their capabilities to become the best in running a business.

A perfect example is single mother Ana Malumuvatu, who runs a successful kava business in Nadi.

Her business idea flourished in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic with a loan of $1000 from a financial institution.

From that loan, she then partnered with her brother who would toil the land.

Together, they bought wholesale yaqona to roll the business which was about 3000 to 5000 yaqona [plants] on the farm.

Unfortunately, Tropical cyclone Yasa struck and affected their investment, but they remained unmoved.

She put her mind in order once again and explored the assistance she got.

Her greatest motivation was her responsibily to 200 kava farmers on her island home, Taveuni.

“It is not about me all the time but those who stand with me all the time,” Ms Malumuvatu.

“Now we have about nine staff who are women, and we export to PNG, and we will be opening up with other markets soon with a bigger mission in the US market as there are a huge number of Fijians residing there.”

Last week, her kava business exported 250kg of kava to PNG.

Prior to starting her kava business, she ran a kava bar in 2021 from their residence in Martintar.

However, it was put on hold because of COVID restrictions.

In February 2022, she found light at the end of the tunnel with the kava bar in full swing a stone’s throw from her residence.

At the same time, she exported kava to family members overseas; but needed more leverage because of issues with cash flow.

Over the year she has flown the Fijian flag at trade shows overseas, but it all began with the year (six-months) programme in Fiji, which is for emerging women leaders in business.

Her participation opened her mind and empowered her to tap into other opportunities available, from $12,000 investment in Kavalicous Tavern that has a kitchen to a commercial space serving as a kitchen and a Kava bar, where it produces Kava chocolate cookie, Kava popsicles, kava soap, and Kava moisturisers

Her commitment delivers a unique Fijian culinary experience where some of the products are sold at Prouds at the Nadi International Airport.

Given her many ups and downs, Ms Malumuvatu believes that entrepreneurs should keep creating unique versions of their products to add extra value to their brand.

“Always keep an open mind in whatever you do. Also, have a no-say attitude that will go a long way. I thank my partner, my son, and family members who have faith in my vision in my business acumen,” she said.

She also noted that when dealing with family members to sell your product do contact Investment Fiji to get better advice and work on a sustainable business model.

“If I can do it, any woman out there can do it.”


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