[From media release 19 Apr 2016]
More than 150 participants including, men, women and youth from Manus Province have completed the Small Business Workshops series, funded by the Australian Government in partnership with the Manus Provincial Government.
Participants were presented with certificates at a closing ceremony in Manus, after completing a series of three workshops in beginners, intermediate and advanced entrepreneurship.
The business workshops spanned three years, from 2014 to 2016. They aimed to equip participants with skills to start their own businesses and successfully manage them.
The participants were taught how to prepare a business plan, investigate business opportunities, set goals, develop financial management tools, apply for business loans, procure goods and services, and market their businesses.
Australian High Commission First Secretary Dr Fiona Crockford said supporting Manus people to be entrepreneurs was a priority for the Australian Government, as they would contribute to the PNG’s broader economic development.
“Participants can now realise their great potential to start or expand their businesses using the skills and techniques learnt from the workshops,” she said.
“In particular, women are a significant driving force as income earners, supporting themselves, their families and communities.
“Already we have heard impressive stories about an IT business, a guesthouse, a bakery and a fuel distribution business, which have been successfully established as a result of these workshops.”
Manus Provincial Administration Finance Manager Robert Siwer said the business workshops were part of the 2014 to 2017 Medium Term Development plan for Manus to improve its economic sector.
“Manus has a small economic base and these training workshops will boost individuals to create businesses and provide employment opportunities for the Manus people,” he said
Participant Ku’ulen Hamou challenged the participants to implement Papua New Guinea’s Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) policy in Manus.
“The SME policy is one that we have to take ownership of. We all have the skills. We must tap into this government initiative and run with it in our own business endeavours,” Mr Hamou said.
The Small Business Workshops were delivered by the Provincial & Local-level Governments Program with support from the Australian Government, under a business development and economic empowerment initiative for Manus communities.
All photos supplied by the Australian Government