Grant Boosts Corrugated Iron Hire Business


Understanding the need of a community and then developing a business to meet that has been beneficial for a recipient of Government’s Micro and Small Business Grant (MSBG) initiative.
For Emosi Vakasawaqa, originally from Ono-i-Lau, hiring out corrugated iron has been a family business ever since his older brother retired from work in 2006 but the assistance from Government helped him to take it to another level.
“In a month I usually hire out my corrugated irons to eight events or function,” Mr Vakasawaqa, who was the recipient of $1000 grant in 2017,” Mr Vakasawaqa said. It’s a tradition Mr Vakasawaqa continued when he retired from work at the Government Pharmacy in 2011 and more so, after the demise of his brother Apaitia Malani.
“In 2017 I heard people talking about this $1000 grant from Government which was available to help those who wanted to start their small business and to boost those who are already engaging in small business. I saw this as an opportunity to boost our family business of hiring corrugated iron for vakatunuloa or temporary shed for family gatherings and community events so I handed in my application. I am so thankful to the Government of the day for approving my application,” Mr Vakasawaqa said. “I am glad from that $1000 grant I was able to buy a new set of 32 corrugated iron. Now I have two sets including the old set that was earlier bought by my brother.”
Mr Vakasawaqa’s business has the advantage in the price of hiring his corrugated iron when compared to the price charged by bigger scaffolding companies. “Most people can’t afford to hire form big scaffolding suppliers and that is where I saw my market because the demand is high.” He is proud to say that his price is for the grass roots as it is reasonably cheaper.
“For the old set of corrugated iron, I hire it out for $60.50 for five days. The new set of corrugated iron I hire them out for $80 for five days.” When asked how he markets his business Mr Vakasawaqa responded with; “It is so popular that I rely on word by mouth. For instance, today they all hired out one set in Valelevu and the other one to Makoi, it’s that popular”.
Divulging further business principles, he said, “My secret is no credit, I don’t give credit even if I know them I don’t give credit”. “This indeed a very good business because in a month I usually hire my corrugated iron to eight events,” said Mr Vakasawaqa.