New opportunities were certainly opened for Rita Jaima Paru, the runner-up finalist of the SP Brewery Entrepreneur Category award of the Westpac Outstanding Woman Awards in 2014.
Rita’s home-based catering business blossomed when she was recognized on the presentation night by an inspiring local businessman and was given the opportunity to cater for an event at the Helifix Hangar a week after WOW.
“We got to talk at the event and then Mr Agarobe offered his ‘haus win’ to me to operate from – and from there I never looked back as Dial-A-Lunch blossomed into catering for the airport customers as well as others around the city,” Ms Paru said.
“This made me think that sometimes you don’t have to be a winner to win! I did win in my own way as the recognition as a finalist opened doors for me to become an established caterer with a property to operate out of and more recognition and network building for my business,” she said.
Being a finalist in the WOW awards enabled Rita to build networks, meet new people and she also attended a recent Global Women in Management conference hosted by Exxon-Mobil and Plan USA. She was part of 26 participants from six countries in the Pacific.
Rita started her humble Dial-A-Lunch catering business in 2013 and operated out of her 2-bedroom home with the assistance of her four children.
Today, her 4 kids and 2 step kids are still involved in the business but in a more distanced manner as she now has 8 employees as well as the support of her husband.
Rita is now enjoying her life, concentrating on her business and constantly on the look-out for ways to improve it. She encourages all women who are considering nominating for the WOW awards to put themselves forward.
Nominations are open for the 2016 WOW awards until 9 September 2016. To find out more and access a nomination form visit http://www.westpac.com.pg/pacific/outstanding-women-awards-lp/
(Rita Jaima Paru)