(Picture caption: Grace Ligairi is a budding entrepreneur from Northland. CREDIT The Northern Advocate).
Some people think outside of the box, and Whangarei’s Grace Ligairi is one of them.
The 23-year-old’s innovative way of thinking and execution of her ideas saw her win the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Award for Business and Enterprise in 2015.
Having worked in hospitality for many years, Grace knew all too well the frustration caused by glass spillages and breakages, so she decided to do something about it.
Grace invented the Slyd'InHolder tray, a contraption which allows wait staff to pass through crowds without fear of an accident.
Born in Fiji, Grace moved to Whangarei in 2008 with the hope of returning to the islands in the future to bring new influences to the hospitality industry there, and by winning a PMPYA she has been able to make a start on this goal.
As part of her award, Grace received $10,000 to develop the Slyd'InHolder tray as well as other ideas, and she says winning the award has enabled her to develop her ideas further to a higher standard.
Currently, the young entrepreneur is working with SKYCITY, and is building a partnership with them which will allow her to take her product to its niche and potential markets.
Grace has hopes of one day being able to assist other Pacific entrepreneurs people to achieve their dreams, and encourages Pacific youth to consider applying for the Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards.
“These awards are a great opportunity for Pacific people … I believe, a talent that can be recognised within the family can also be recognised nationally and Pasifika should apply,” she says.
The 2018 Prime Minister’s Pacific Youth Awards, supported by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), will be presented to successful applicants on March 28, in Auckland.
Visit MPP for more information on this initiative.