Indigenous Business Program Launched In PNG
MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Jan. 21, 2013) – A new business organization has been launched in Papua New Guinea to advocate for the needs of indigenous business-people.
The Indigenous Business Council has received a stimulus package of AU$500 million [US$525.4 million] to train and encourage indigenous Papua New Guinea to begin formal sector businesses.
While hundreds of thousands of indigenous Papua New Guineans work in the informal sector - which includes market stalls - 90 percent of formal sector businesses are owned by foreigners.
Indigenous Business council secretary, Sarah Haoda Todd, says since independence indigenous business-people "have been in slumber."
"Lots of business opportunities have come and passed us by," Ms. Todd told Radio Australia'sPacific Beat.
"Traditionally we are socially responsible people. We take care of all the other social obligations and it's important to have finances in our homes these days."
Ms. Todd says her organization has been very successful in negotiations with the O'Neill government.
She says the beginning of her own business career was difficult, with the loan application for her cleaning business being rejected three times by a bank before being approved.
Fifteen years later, the business now employs over 300 staff.
"Hopefully because of the government backing and the availability of finances we just want to make sure that people... have some insight on what the difficulties and impediments might be in business," Ms. Todd says.
"I just went in there blindly but actually learnt some of these things along the way."
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