By Jennifer Popplewell •
Published: 13 Nov 2023 • 9:00
The Mijas minds behind the magic - Ali Meehan and Katja Thirion
On Saturday November 11, overlooking the sea at the restaurant Play in Mijas, the first ever Mijas International Business fair opened its doors.
Waiting inside, was an array of stands, each occupied by a local business of the area, complete with complimentary chocolates, informative displays and equipment demonstrations.
The mastermind behind this event, which was sponsored by Cajamar, is none other than Ali Meehan, the founder of Costa Women, a free community for women living or moving to Spain. Euro Weekly News spoke to Ali at the fair, who revealed her motivation for creating the business event. “In Mijas and the surrounding areas, there are many foreigners, but it can be difficult to share a message between them”, she stated. “There are many different urbanisations and areas dotted around, some here today did not even know about this restaurant we are in now, so I wanted to find a way to bring people and businesses together”, she explained. Ms Meehan clearly saw a problem and decided to be the one to create the start of the solution. When asked why she chose the restaurant Play in particular, she told us that her group, Costa Women, meet there every month for brunch, and love it. This news did not surprise EWN, as standing in the spacious dining area, where raw and rustic meets manicured and modern, a soft sea breeze gently flows through, as all eyes divert to the endless sea view.
Various local businesses were present, including Kiddo, a family lounge and restaurant, Blue Gecko Real Estate Agency and Costa Health – The Skin Clinic. Euro Weekly News spoke with some of the business representatives at the stalls and asked what their main motive was behind attending the event. Charlotte Hill from Kiddo told us that “because we are not on the beachfront, not many people know about us. We want to get the word out there about this great place that we have”. Christine Taurari from Blue Gecko also stated that it was “difficult to become well known in the area”, but also mentioned that she was excited to see the “European influence, especially Northern Europe, multiply in Mijas and the Costa Del Sol”.
As the EWN team moved throughout the fair, a certain stand with a nondescript but very futuristic looking machine caught our eye. The Skin Clinic were not only offering goodies and information, but also a free ‘skin scan’ with their state of the art machine that can immediately inform you of what areas of your face need care. We couldn’t help but have a go, and all went home with tips and tricks as well as a new routine in mind!
Another surprising stand was that of Andalucia Emprende. A government funded free guide service that many know little about, but can be extremely helpful for self employed workers and business owners who need to navigate the system. Euro Weekly News met James Dix, owner of Red Mountain Buggy Tours, who explained to us that their assistance has been invaluable to him during his business journey.
In association with this uniting event, is the foreigners department of the Mijas Town Hall. Local Councilor Katja Thirion, who was present at the event, told EWN that, “we wanted to start small for the first fair, for companies to meet each other and present themselves, businesses of all nationalities.” before explaining that, “we definitely want to do another one, we are very happy with how today is going and it is exciting to see where this can go”.
Uniting businesses and nationalities, whilst also giving them a platform to show off their services, certainly seems extremely exciting, and with this day being only the beginning, who can imagine what will come next!
Bravo to the business fair in Mijas! As well as to those internationally intelligent minds behind it!
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Jennifer is a proud northerner from Sheffield, England, who is currently living in Spain. She loves swimming in rivers, talking to the stars and eating luxurious chocolate.
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