Successful American businesswoman Samira Cook-Gaines says women in PNG have great potential to become successful entrepreneurs.
Mrs Cook-Gaines, who is currently inthe country, is an expert in women’s entrepreneurship and her visit launchesthe Womenrsquo;s Empowerment Speaker Series, hosted bythe US Embassy.
She began a workshop on Monday atthe US Embassy in Port Moresby, involving 2PNG women entrepreneurs.
It is Mrs Cook-Gaines’ first visit tPNG, and she sees a lot of potential in PNG women to be successful intheir businesses, giventhe male domination barrier.
“I’ve met very impressive business women and a little bit’surprised because I’ve never been to this part ofthe world and I didn’trsquo;t realize how strong thatthe business women are here…It makes me think thatthe country has a really positive future,” said Cook-Gaines.
Mrs Cook-Gaines serves asthe Vice President of Business Development for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition inthe United States.
She wasthe founding director ofthe Washington DC Womenrsquo;s Business Center, which supports women entrepreneurs through training, individual consultation, mentoring and business growth through government procurement opportunities and exporting.
She saidthe empowerment of women is vital for the growth of any country.
“I met with women who are in non-traditional industry like transportation, this is a tremendous potential for growth,” she said.
Monday’s workshop was based around preparing a business plan, using powerful words, and having role models.
The women atthe workshop were entrepreneurs from a whole variety of sectors including transportohealth, fashion, education and real estate.
A few ofthe participants sharedtheir experiences ofthe workshop;
“Truly we need mentoring and someone to guide us through.” “We have fear in running our business because of our society. This program is very useful and very helpful.”
She also featured at a public engagement with students’atthe Pacific Adventist University.
Later inthe week, she will continue workshops and give inspirational talks to working women about overcoming challenges inthe workplace, and to women at Haus Ruth about buildingtheir financial confidence.
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