An initiative by Business Center Corporation (BCC), “Hiyala Weekend Market”, has been opened in the Container Park area of Hulhumale. The market, aimed at empowering women entrepreneurs and producers, will be operated every weekend. This collaborative effort between the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and the Business Center Corporation was inaugurated by Dr Aishath Shiham, Minister of Social and Family Development.
Dr. Aishath Shiham, speaking at the inauguration, emphasized the government’s commitment to women’s empowerment, highlighting the necessity for women to achieve self-sufficiency. The Hiyala Weekend Market is seen as a significant stride towards this goal, providing a vibrant platform for women entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their products. This initiative aims to benefit the participating women and promises growth and prosperity for their families and the wider society.
The market serves as a confluence point for women from various sectors, working together towards common objectives and providing a new avenue for Maldivian women’s products to reach a broader audience. The popularity of such weekend markets in other parts of the world, frequented by locals and tourists alike, suggests promising prospects for local businesses, women entrepreneurs, and manufacturers.
International research indicates that when women in a family are self-sufficient, it contributes significantly to the overall happiness and well-being of the family unit. Self-sufficiency is identified as a key component of a happy and dignified life, which the Hiyala Weekend Market aims to facilitate for every woman.
At the inauguration ceremony, Dr Aishath Shiham also announced that an MVR 100 million loan earmarked for women would be disbursed shortly, and a special loan for small businesses is to be introduced.
A similar venture took place in 2021, organised by the Business Centre Corporation under the name “Hiyala Expo 2021” in Kulhudhuffushi City. This event, a collaborative effort by the Kulhudhuffushi City Council, the Women’s Development Committee (WDC), and the Business Centre Corporation, was deemed a resounding success.