Innovation and leadership in Pacific business

My name is Rosie Ah Yen-Curry and I’m a thriving entrepreneur with a background in Finance and ICT. I was born and raised in Samoa before moving to New Zealand and studying at the Unitec Institute of Technology. From there, I managed to complete a Diploma in Accounting, Certificate in Financial Reporting, Certificate in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Finance as well as a Certificate in Real Estate. I gained valuable experience in New Zealand working within the corporate world for companies such as Spark (formerly Telecom NZ) and AMP Services NZ. After a successful career in New Zealand I returned to my homeland (Samoa) and partnered with my husband where we co-own and operate an ICT company called Connect IT Limited.

My passion while growing up has always been to become an entrepreneur and I believe that perseverance has kept me going to where I am now. Listening to successful entrepreneurs and adopting some of their concepts, attributes and aspects from their experiences has helped me to operate and build the foundation of our company. The ability to analyse the marketplace and pivot when needed is one of my main strengths and since becoming Managing Director for Connect IT, I have successfully implemented policies and systematised a majority of the daily processes and this has been a key factor towards the success of our company thus far.

It was such a great opportunity being offered to attend the International Centre for Democratic Parternships’ (ICDP) dialogue in Brisbane, Australia from 17 to 20 February 2019. I met with such a diverse group of women attending the dialogue with so much passion and drive in their own talents.

I see the dialogue as an enabling platform for supporting current and emerging women leaders to pursue their dreams. The dialogue gave me clarity on my views for the future of what women in business could achieve to contribute in our own countries and within our local communities. I believe if all like-minded women were given this opportunity, it would pave the way for future leaders being empowered by a great support network.

The highlight of the event was the visit to The Precinct, located in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley. This is an innovation hub where Queensland startups, incubators, investors and mentors can form support networks for growth and development. The atmosphere, the energy – it was truly an amazing feeling to be able to experience first-hand the technology and innovation that is being developed at The Precinct. It was inspiring to see all the different digital platforms and a demonstration of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) humanoid robot named ‘Pepper’. Wow! Humans really are doing amazing things.

The key to being a great leader is having great support, which is what I believe ICDP is all about. Enablement, empowerment and collaboration brings much success onto this platform to support our women in business who just need the right support in executing many of the potential ideas that were discussed and shown in the dialogue.

I also had the privilege of being invited to lead one of the projects that our Samoan group put forward during the dialogue and I am humbled to be recognised by other leaders and to be given the opportunity. We understand that the task at hand will not be easy, implementing change will be one of the obstacles we will need to overcome, but I believe our wonderful team of intelligent ladies will rise to the task at hand and together we will make this project a reality.

“Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure the impact lasts in your absence” – Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook.

Rosie Ah Yen-Curry

Managing director, connect it

With a background in finance and IT, Rosie is currently multitasking as a Managing Director, ICT Business Consultant and Financial Controller for Connect IT