A brand new Toyata Rush SUV was part of the award, presented by Ela Motors.
The cooperative society also won the UNDP cooperative society award.
Bou Resources Cooperative Society Limited was established in 2019 by farmers from Bou and surrounding villages of Huhu Rural LLG in Milne Bay Province. The company’s vision is to promote improved and sustainable organic farming practices through equal opportunities between genders, in rural communities for self-sustaining economic prosperity.
Co-op president Noah Taugaloidi said receiving the top prize is something that will put their operation and that of others in the spotlight.
“The cooperative is more of a democratic operation if you will. Most of the time, we don’t get the kind of respect and attention we should as a co-op, but our functions and influence in the communities (is) quite large.
“Not only with the cooperative society award, but especially with the first prize, it’s going to have a major impact on us because it’s not only going to challenge us, but inspire everyone in different communities to believe that there is hope in the cooperative society and our involvement in micro-SMEs. It’s indescribable, I’m just at a loss for words to try to explain it, ”Taugaloidi said.
Taugaloidi was delighted to receive the vehicle from Ela Motors and said it would be of great help to the operations of the company.
He said: “Where I am I live about an hour’s drive from Alotau. This is about K15 in and out of town. Sometimes I have to go out and attend meetings. In most cases, you have to find the money. Sometimes you have to borrow to get to town. Sometimes you need to book the PMV. Sometimes I don’t pay. So, this is going to help us, not only for me as president, but for anyone who believes in what we do. It will complement this effort, so I’m really grateful.
Taugaloidi said it was important that individual SMEs or SMEs helping more than one person continue to support rural entrepreneurship and, more importantly, disadvantaged groups, as these are the people who have the potential to displace the offer to complete the value and supply chain.
“For example, with food, if I buy cocoa in town, I cannot buy cocoa if there is no cocoa. When you get involved with the rural community and with the people who are there (who) are willing to dig a hole and plant a seed, you will not be a loser.
“It’s a win-win situation for everyone, so I encourage everyone to be mindful of who (who) is there. In particular rural economies, rural entrepreneurship. Support them so that they can support urban businesses and continue to develop the economy, ”Taugaloidi explained.