The two week course was facilitated by the SME Corporation and involved participants from women’s groups and church organisations within the district. The majority of the graduates had already started their own ventures – what they required was business management support to enable them to grow more efficiently and effectively.
Cecily Souro, one of the graduates, said she appreciated learning about the legalities and responsibilities required to formally operate a business. Souro manages a retail trade store and is proud to be solely managing her business full time to sustain her family.
“I also valued learning the importance of marketing and research which are basics of running a business that we should consider but rarely do because we did not see them as a priority,” she said.
Another graduate, Edna Orovo from Higaturu Local Level Government, has turned her passions into various start-up ventures but has experienced many challenges in the journey to expand her business.
Orovo, who operates both a tailoring and bread baking business, said the knowledge gained from the training will help her manage finances and save for unanticipated expenses.
“I started my small ventures to provide a service to the community and faced challenges in managing my finances. I have now seen the importance of keeping personal spending separate from the main business operations.
“Thank you to the Small and Medium Enterprise Corporation and the PNG-Australia Partnership for helping Papua New Guinean women like me to think beyond just our business in the community but to dream and aim big,” Orovo said.
Facilitator at the SME Corporation, Edward Bal Kepa, said the training is a key priority of the International Labour Organisation. It aims to upskill and encourage potential entrepreneurs to learn how to plan, start and manage businesses, and then encourage growth from small to medium and large businesses.
(Susan Jinga graduates with a certificate in basic accounting at the Small Medium Enterprise Training graduation on 12 April, with SMEC trainers Edward Bal Kepa and Andrew Mai)