Indigenous businesses discuss social media use to combat Covid lockdown

By Mare Haimona-Riki

Indigenous business owners from Aotearoa, Australia, and Canada, and the USA recently held a virtual ‘round table’ meeting with Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

They were discussing how they can use social media to mitigate business loss due to Covid lockdowns.  

“Small businesses were already making that digital shift,” Sandberg said during the meeting.

“But during Covid-19, it’s becoming even more important, so with over 200 million small businesses using our free tools, I’m excited to learn how everyone using those tools,” she said.         

Kai Ora Honey chief executive Blanche Morrogh says she was able to meet with many of the indigenous business owners before the round table meeting also.

“They all joined in to share our stories around our ancestors, our goals and our vision, and how the impact of COVID has challenged our traditional ways of doing business,” Morrogh says.

She was one of the two Māori-owned businesses in attendance.

Being primarily an export-facing business, kai Ora Honey was worst hit by the dramatic increase in global shipping prices.

“For instance, before Covid, when we would send something today to Romania, it used to cost around $1,800, and now it’s costing us closer to $5,000 for the same size pallet, same order."