Nerves were high as 15 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneurs Chamber had five minutes to pitch their ideas in a closed session to Impact Investors who were in Samoa as part of Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) Australia’s Business Mission to Samoa.

PTI Australia’s Pitchfest was a collaboration of the Samoa Chamber of Commerce and PTI Australia, providing an opportunity for the next generation of entrepreneurs from Samoa to connect and get direct feedback from international investors.

The entrepreneurs gained valuable feedback and perspective from the Impact Investors. Entrepreneur Olisana Mariner, founder of The Hub, pitched her social enterprise that makes spaces where people can create, collaborate and connect Samoa to the world.

“It was a little intimidating pitching; these are international investors and very successful business people. Their feedback has been so valuable – they have already given me three to five practical steps to look into. It’s been an amazing experience to be part of, and I’m thankful to PTI Australia and the Chamber for bringing this opportunity to Samoa. You don’t often get feedback from international investors and business leaders. It has validated that I’m on the right track and I’m excited to keep going on my journey.”

The four international Impact Investors on the panel were Bill Murphy and Kristen Joiner, Enterprise Angels; Joe Tuaimau, Australian Entrepreneur; and Bernard Tuaimau, Co-Chair, Pacific Business Sports & Entrepreneurs. The panel were excited by the pitches they had heard.

“I’ve been amazed by the pitches; we’ve listened to some real innovative ideas that were presented with passion. It’s important for businesses pitching to remember their audience. As investors we are human and being able to connect on that human level is vital. You need to be clear and authentic in your story and why we should invest in you. You also need to know what you want from an investor. Is it mentoring, funds, etc., and what are you willing to give in return?

“All the investors have been so impressed by the calibre of pitches. It’s now time for us to map out which businesses we can collaborate with by understanding the opportunities our investment of time and resources will provide the most beneficial impact.” Joe Tuaimau, Australian Entrepreneur.

PTI Australia’s Business Mission to Samoa ran from 9 – 12 October and was led by PTI Australia’s Trade & Investment Commissioner, Caleb Jarvis, in partnership with H.E. Hinauri Petana and the Samoa High Commission to Australia. A diverse delegation of Australian buyers, Impact Investors, Pacific diaspora and labour mobility executives travelled to Samoa with the aim of deepening their understanding of the Samoa. PTI Australia facilitated connections between the Australian delegation and Samoa’s private and public sector with the aim of creating positive, tangible outcomes.