A Change Maker’s Story
Growing up as a passionate art lover and always with an ambition for creating something new, Millicent Barty, has by time gradually directed all her energy to being the young energetic and innovative entrepreneur she is today.
Being raised in a broken family was tough but with the parenting style of her step –father, that was what really drove young Millicent to really explore her interests.
“He didn’t say ‘I want you to be a doctor’ he wanted me to try everything… at one stage I wanted to be a ballerina and he paid for classes and after only two classes I said ‘I don’t want to be a ballerina anymore’ after that I wanted to play the piano to be a musician but I really sucked at being one…but he always encouraged me” Millicent reminisced.
Millicent personally sees her childhood as the process of her developing her own career path and for that she is grateful of her step father who always encouraged her on pursuing her dreams and now to being in the field she trails.
It was when Millicent was ready to head to University where she decided she wanted to study fine arts and history but at that point it seemed her father wasn’t about to let her continue to still figure out where she wanted to go and so he optioned for them to compromise about a study where art and science could work together.
After coming up with an agreement, she then took up the study of Design where science perfectly comes into harmony with art and to this day Millicent doesn’t regret it one bit.
Millicent’s particular discipline in the field of design is in communications and social development on where it focuses mainly on behavioral perceptive design.
Millicent has been involved with a lot of major projects including two of the recent National General Elections back in 2014 & 2018.
She was the brains behind the illustrations on “How to Vote” pamphlets driven by ways of which she could tackle Illiteracy and ineffective information and at the same time promote clear awareness’s to the public.
She has been helping the Electoral Commission provide effective information to communicate to the masses about the electoral processes and has all been very successful with it.
And this was practiced through a communications strategy inspired by our traditional story telling practices, Millicent revealed.
Ms Barty is also currently redesigning the marketing department and the cafeteria for Solomon Tobacco of which she is humbled.
Another of the major projects she is now focusing on is the “Market Basket”, where she tries to ease the pressure being weighted onto Market Vendors here in the capital.
The business “Market Basket” is a simple but effective change to help our local farmers where instead of spending a total of four nights and six days at the market while only earning a quarter of the effort, they can now spend only two nights and four days at the market and gain a whole lot more.
The project acts as a food delivering service simply to help both market vendors quickly sell their produce and to cope with the current state-of the working class people here in the capital not having enough time to head to the market or already tired before even trying and so on.
Her partner is also a co-founder of the Market Basket Business and is also from North East Guadalcanal and is why they are both currently having the pilot project ready to be launched in North East Guadalcanal simply because most of the vendors are from North East Guadalcanal.
But the project that has gotten Millicent to travel to the provinces lately and is also of quite the scale itself is Sol-Bridge.
She, again, is also a co-founder of Sol-Bridge, a joint project with an Australian Company working with locals to distribute Biogas plants to boarding schools here in the country.
The Biogas Plants are simply green houses that could produce liquid fertilizer which is very effective for the startup of soup-soup garden’s (vegetable garden/s) and the organic waste could also be used as gas to cook.
This project came about due to the very high prices it could cost to have cooking gas sent to the provinces.
She recently received an invitation from the University of the South Pacific (USP) to be a guest speaker for the USP Entrepreneurial affair held in Fiji. The USP entrepreneurial affair is a one week fair from 17th – 21st of Feb, where policy makers, business people and students will be having panel discussion and information sharing sessions. Simply to learn about the challenges one could face and to understand the bigger picture of any economy. This is the third time this event will be hosted.
Already it seems that she has both her hands tied up having more than one focused business to attend to, but when it comes to making time for herself she considers her opportunities to travel and meet new people as her personal time, since Millicent is doing what she is passionate about, but as soon as the stress kicks in she considers that as work.
Millicent then uttered that five years from now “I still see myself helping out with motivating and creating the idea of youths having a set career path to pursue…and to continue to encourage youths” she stated.
Millicent not only is a fan of commercializing new projects,but she is also an advocator for women’s rights and has also been dealing with a lot of social issues facing women and young girls. Ms Barty had also then brought together a team who created a radio program, two years ago, called “Flower Power”. The program used both the social media and the radio as platforms for the issues to be discussed. And the whole process included the anonymity of the bringers of issues.
Also still on the growth of women in society, Millicent furthermore worked up an accelerator program which helped other young women grow their businesses, and she called it “Yher”.
And when asked about what issues does she find most common here in the country she expressed that there were simply a lot of “lack-offs” here in the country.
In addition, winding up the interview, Millicent then spoke of a favorite quote of which she always loves and practices and it’s “Be strong enough to stand alone, be smart enough to know when you need help and Be Brave enough to ask for it”.
But overall this year, Miss Millicent, will be launching the “Market Basket” business project, continue with community awareness of the Bina Harbor project. And she concluded that “my job is sort of like seeking jobs every month”.
Paoa FM broadcasts the Change Makers series on Mondays at 9am, 3pm and 8pm.
The Chang Makers program is a joint project with Paoa FM and Oxfam Solomon Islands, launched to celebrate local leaders.
By GEORGE AGAVA