The Pacific Business Trust (PBT) welcomes Paul Retimanu as the new Chair of the Board as of 1 August 2022.
Of Samoan descent, Paul hopes to lead by example when it comes to what is possible for budding Pacific entrepreneurs and is an established business owner and entrepreneur with over three decades of experience in the hospitality sector based in Wellington.
The Manager Director of Manaaki Management Ltd says he has always strived to use his business management and leadership skills to influence and contribute to the growth of Māori and Pacific businesses in New Zealand.
His recent appointment as PBT Chair will allow him to continue building capability of Pacific businesses in all of Aotearoa but especially in the regions, a current key focus for the Ministry for Pacific Peoples, he adds.
“The reason I took on this role is I saw it as an opportunity to grow the number of Pacific people in business in New Zealand.
“We haven’t seen any movement on the dial for a while now with only 1.6 percent of Pacific people owning their own business, whereas the number of Māori and Asian people in business has increased and sits between eight and 12 percent.”
Paul says Pacific people have always faced challenges when it came to starting their own business, such as being from a lower-socio economic background, low home ownership and therefore no capital, and a lack of access to funding.
“However, there are other options available to Pacific peoples, and part of my role is to show those who aspire to be entrepreneurs, how other people have succeeded.
“We need to showcase our successful Pacific entrepreneurs and their journey to owning a thriving business and demonstrate what is possible with assistance and mentoring.”
Paul says PBT has already paved the way for Pacific success, and he is looking forward to picking up this work and enhancing it with his hopes and vision, to see the number of Pacific in business grow and flourish.
In addition to his work as PBT Chair, Paul currently volunteers his services to Wellington Pacific Business Network as Chairman, he is the Deputy Chair of Te Awe Māori Business Network, and the National Vice President – Environment and Sustainability of Hospitality NZ and President of Hospitality NZ (Wellington branch).
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