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Empowering women entrepreneurs through free business education course

Friday 3 February 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National


Empowering women entrepreneurs through free business education course
Founder of the Taki Tahi ‘start-up’ project Ana File-Heather (left) and the Taki Tahi second-place winners the Birds Eye Fish Recon Cook Islands - Thomas Kea, Tevai Napa and Rupe French created a fish finding device in 2021. 21053113

Seventeen industrious women have signed up for the Taki Tahi Entrepreneur Development programme which starts next week on Monday, February 6 through to Sunday, February 12.

The free business education online course for the Cook Islands is sponsored in partnership with the Academy of Women Entrepreneurs and the US Embassy.

Entrepreneur and local businesswoman Ana File-Heather, who is the founder of the Taki Tahi “start-up” project, will be facilitating the course.

This is the second time Cook Islands women will have the opportunity to participate in the programme.

The first round of the Taki Tahi Entrepreneur Development programme was held in 2021. Three cohorts of women from Rarotonga, Aitutaki and Mangaia attended the course with over 40 women graduating.

Through this programme, two graduates will also receive a seed funding grant of $5000 each to support their business development.

File-Heather says the women business creator is an incubator style programme that has been designed to empower and educate women in all stages of business.

It is a 13-module course that focuses on the key components of developing a business and assists participants to develop a business plan along the way.

“The course was created by women for women and uses real lived experiences by female entrepreneurs as they guide the learner through each module of learning,” said File-Heather.

Women from Rarotonga and the Pa Enua of Aitutaki, Mauke and Manihiki are participating in the week long programme.

The group will also engage in a customised exchange programme with support agencies and businesses throughout the course.

“This will really allow their time on Rarotonga to be maximised with learning potential and create invaluable networking opportunities,” said File-Heather.

Spaces are limited to 17 participants because of the number of computers USP has available for the course, however, if there is enough interest the organisers will consider running an additional course to accommodate more women.

File-Heather is a US Department of State International Visitor Leadership Programme (IVLP) Alumni. She participated in the programme in 2019, since then she has been driven to bring those experiences home for Cook Islands creatives.