Solomon Islands businesswoman Millicent Barty is a champion of kastom, and of the need to use traditional ways of acquiring knowledge and transferring information in addressing some the most pressing social and development questions facing her country and our region.
Barty started her company, Millicent Designs, after returning home as a design graduate from Goldsmith’s College at the university of London. While she was well-qualified, and had life experience gained from living ten years in Jakarta, Barty was unable to find work in Honiara. Now she has not only her own company, but is the Chair of the Young Entrepreneurs Council of Solomon Islands, and is mentoring other young Pacific island social entrepreneurs though ygap.
“What really frustrated me being back in the village context was simply that my aunties and my uncles couldn’t participate in a simple conversation around ‘why don’t we have running water, what is the role of my Minister,’ Barty said. “I realised that a lot of NGOs and ministries through their civic awareness outreach programs, what they were leaving behind was text-heavy brochures and pamphlets. I often disagreed with that.”
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