A kiosk to promote the visibility of women entrepreneurs handicrafts, an initiative of the National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC), was inaugurated, today, at the Port Louis Waterfront by the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo.
Addressing the women entrepreneurs present, Vice-Prime Minister Jeewa-Daureeawoo said that the concern for women's economic empowerment is a key priority on Government's agenda. She encouraged women to become entrepreneurs in order to become self-reliant, independent and contribute to the betterment of their families. Government, she indicated, wishes to create and widen opportunities for women entrepreneurs to display their products, adding that the new kiosk at the Port Louis Waterfront is a full-fledged example of its endeavour. The setting up of similar sales outlets across the island is also being envisaged so as to facilitate the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs, she added.
The Vice-Prime Minister also listed out several facilities and incentives put in place by the Government to promote the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and recalled that under the latest scheme a woman entrepreneur can benefit from financial assistance by the Development Bank of Mauritius by way of no guarantee loans up to a ceiling of Rs 500 000 at a fixed interest rate of 3%. To that effect, the Vice-Prime Minister encouraged women to avail themselves of the facilities and to develop their talents and potential to the fullest thereby contributing to making of the SME sector an important pillar of the Mauritian economy.
The 3 m x 3m kiosk is located at a key point, at the Esplanade of Port Louis Waterfront. The main objective is to promote, market and sell locally made quality handicraft, artwork and textile products to locals and tourists. The kiosk will also enable women entrepreneurs registered at NWEC to showcase their products on special occasions such as International Women's Day, Easter, Mothers' Day, and national celebrations.
A variety of products is being displayed at the kiosk namely: Dreamcatchers, Hand Paintings, Soft Toys, Bags, Fancy Jewellery, Pottery, Glass Blowing products, Pyrography, Basketry, Keyrings, and Vacoas products, amongst others.