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Solar Power Helping More Than Bread to Rise

Savenace Tuiwailevu believes that with self-belief, anything is possible. This strong determination helped him open Tuiwailevu Enterprise, a successful bakery in rural Nasau Village, Nabukelevu, on the southwest part of Kadavu Island.

Despite lacking prior experience in baking, the 46-year-old sought assistance from a friend to embark on this new venture.  

Initially operating with basic equipment and the aid of a generator, Savenaca encountered challenges with power supply and operational costs.

“We don’t have an electricity supply on Kadavu Island, therefore, we are dependent on generators for our work, and it is always expensive to buy the fuel for the generator. Additionally, I do my baking over an open fire,” he said.   

Determined to expand and meet the growing demand for bakery products, Savenaca decided to install a solar unit. The cost of a solar unit was prohibitive so he decided to seek assistance.

He is one of the recipients of the Business Link Pacific (BLP) Business Support Grant, amounting to $7000. He submitted his application under the Finance Category aimed at securing additional finance, just one of five categories established by BLP. In this case, Savenaca needed equity to apply for a loan.  

The grant has enabled Savenaca to purchase a solar power system, eliminating the need for expensive diesel generators and ensuring his bakery could operate without interruptions.

“The diesel generator was expensive to run, costing about $600 to $700 a month, and its unreliability often halted my operations. But since I have installed the solar unit, I am now able to bake more buns and bread and at the same time save the money with which I used to buy fuel for the generator,” he said.

Switching to solar power not only helped Tuiwailevu Enterprise run smoothly but also set it up for more growth. Savenaca wants to his business to grow and hire more people and improve the product delivery.

The 2-year-old bakery is currently servicing around 100 households, a nearby boarding school, and a government department.

“At the moment, my major focus is to deliver my bakery products across Kadavu Island and after that I will focus on delivering it to Viti Levu and Vanua Levu,” he said.   

Business Assistance Fiji (BAF) and BLP also assisted Savenaca with the preparation of a financial statement for his business for the year ending 2023.

Savenaca was linked with Kaur Singh and Company, one of the BAF and BLP Business Advisory Service Providers for the preparation of the financial statement for his business. 

He also attended the MSME Conference, which gave Savenaca useful ideas and the opportunity to meet people and discuss ways he could operate his business better.

Acknowledging the crucial role played by BAF and BLP in his entrepreneurial journey, Savenaca extends his gratitude for their unwavering support.

“BAF and BLP have been instrumental in my success, and I hope their services continue to help other MSMEs achieve their dreams,” he said.

ENDS

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