PNG SME Business Magazine through its Publisher StratCom, will join the rest of the world for the first time this year in a number of activities under the “PNG SME Week” culminating to the inaugural “PNG SME Business Breakfast”. It aims in promoting and helping existing entrepreneurs find information on available support and encourage more people to set up their own businesses.
There has been a major push for more investment in the SME sector in Papua New Guinea considering its economical and nation-building benefits.
In August 2018, the East Sepik Provincial Government began its push for agricultural SME programs by investing in the production of cocoa seedlings. East Sepik Governor, Allan Bird, encouraged an estimated 138,000, farmers in the Province to work together to increase its production with just under K2 million committed and the aim to produce 80 million seedlings over the course of the next four years.
Another facet that will be part of tomorrow’s program will be on SME development.
Minister for Commerce, Wera Mori, who is a keynote speaker has pledged his support to ensure ordinary Papua New Guineans are into Small and Medium Enterprise sector business. Mori himself was present at the opening of a service station in the western Highlands Province in late 2018, in support of a local SME operator, John Neville, who started off from selling street-side.
Other calls for SME support have been wide-ranging across the country. This year, a small business owner called on provincial governments to construct large buildings that can be used by PNG-owned SMEs rent-free until their businesses become profitable. Tony Basse, whose family started Ultimate Furniture in Goroka in 2016, said shop space rentals are the biggest obstacle to small business making monthly incomes.
“For us, there is so much potential where we can create more employment for many technical students who are just graduating,” Tony says.
Tony Basse’s story is the same as many other SMEs who can’t pay rent in prime locations due to expensive rates. In towns like Goroka, in Eastern Highlands Province, the average rental cost per month is between K3, 000 and K10, 000. It is simply unaffordable for start-ups like Ultimate Furniture.
“If you don’t make a sale for a month, the rental itself will actually put you out of business.”
Financing remains one of the biggest obstacles for SMEs in Papua New Guinea and the WORLD SME Day breakfast programme includes partners in KINA investment, Westpac and the IRC who alongside KTK Partners, who will be looking at financial inclusion and compliance.
Some lesser known facets of entrepreneurship will also be part of the program, with Pascoe Promotions – an event planner business, as well as PNG musical artist, Anslom Nakikus, who is slowly becoming an international sensation.
The World SME Day Breakfast is a partnership between StratCom – Strategic Communications a publishing and marketing SME, and Media Niugini Limited, through its TV channel EMTV.
The event will be hosted at the Hilton Hotel in Port Moresby beginning at 6:30am.