US expert to lead seminar for women here - Solomon Star News

US expert to lead seminar for women here

07 August 2015

U.S. entrepreneurship expert Samira Cook Gaines will give women entrepreneurs the insight and skills they need to get ahead in business during her August 14-18 visit to Honiara.

During her visit, Gaines will highlight the importance of women’s entrepreneurship to the economic development and growth of Solomon Islands.

She will lead motivational and practical workshops on basic business and financial literacy skills to female small business owners and micro-entrepreneurs.

This will be her first visit to Solomon Islands.

Gaines will meet with the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) to encourage small business development for women, and increase financial inclusion.

She will also meet with the Solomon Islands Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) to learn about what the chamber, government, and civil society are doing to encourage small business development for women, and encourage more collaboration between the chamber and women’s groups and business women. 

Gaines will meet with leading female entrepreneurs and hold workshops on “Organizational Management;” “How to Start and Grow Your Business;” “Follow-Up to Organizational Management Workshop;” “Innovating for Success: How to Create Demand and Build Your Business;” and Business Management Top Tools: Teambuilding and Networking.” 

She will also hold one-on-one mentoring sessions with women entrepreneurs to help them address and overcome challenges to running their businesses, and give a seminar on August 17 entitled “Don’t Fear the Financials: Cracking the Code to Make Your Business Bloom” at the Solomon Islands National University’s  Kukum Campus Lecture Theater.

These workshops are free, but space is limited.  Interested individuals are asked to RSVP to Gloria Willie by August 12 at [email protected] or +675 7200-9406 or to Hilda Riria – Birisi +677-23426 to reserve a spot for each workshop.

The full schedule of workshops is available on the U.S. Embassy’s Facebook page ( or by request via email.

This visit is part of the U.S. Embassy’s Women’s Empowerment Speaker Series, which brings U.S. experts to Solomon Islands to provide skill-building and professional development opportunities for women. 

Gaines serves as the Chief of Civil Rights and Economic Empowerment for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) where she provides strategic, programmatic leadership and direction in the areas of wealth creation and asset building for NCRC’s Housing Counseling Network, the National Neighbors Civil Rights program, and four small business development centers located in Washington, DC and New York City.

She was the Founding Director of the Washington, DC Women’s Business Center (DC WBC), which supports women entrepreneurs through training, individual consultation, mentoring, and business growth through government procurement opportunities and exporting.

Under Samira's direction, the DC WBC assisted over 1000 women in achieving their business goals.

In honor of her work with small businesses, Samira was selected as a White House Champion for Change in the area of entrepreneurship mentoring. Throughout her public service career, Gaines has leveraged her knowledge and experience to support policies and initiatives that insure fair and equitable access to wealth creation and community economic development through homeownership and business development across the country.

Her women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship work has also taken her to several countries as a Speaker Specialist for the US State Department in Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Islands.

Gaines has also served the residents of the District of Columbia as Assistant Director for Training and Education for the Department of Small and Local Business Development.

She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts and her Master of Public Administration degree from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

She is an active member of her Fort Lincoln neighborhood and volunteers on the Board of the Association for Enterprise Opportunity and the Association of Women’s Business Centers.

Gaines is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.