Learning to Start a Business in Papua New Guinea



“The recent workshop by CIPE on the 19th of May 2014 in Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea is important as firstly puts our vision into action but most importantly it gave a boost for those women to take a bold step towards starting a business or “enterprise”. The women learnt how to transform their ideas or hobbies into a business. They learnt the importance of innovation, implementation, ability to market products and to understand numbers in a business environment. The breakaway discussions and activities were not only fun but useful in emphasis important business skills like to know how to negotiate pricing in a business time management and knowing specifications before you start dealing with suppliers. So many positive feedback from the participants. Can’t wait for the next one.” – Janet Sios, Interim Vice President PNGWCCI

CIPE is working with a newly established women’s chamber of commerce in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to become a strong voice of women-owned businesses a country that is known for its unequal treatment of women.

According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2014 report, PNG is getting worse in areas such as Starting a Business (101st in the world, down 9 places from 2013) and Getting Credit at 86th in the world (down 4 spots from 2013). In such an environment, it is extremely challenging for women to start an entrepreneurial initiative. This forces many women to remain in the informal sector.

During the course of recent capacity building sessions held in May 2014, CIPE organized a workshop for Papua New Guinea Women Chamber of Commerce members titled “Starting Your Own Enterprise.” CIPE Deputy Country Director for Pakistan, Hammad Siddiqui led the session that covered basic concepts of starting a business, challenges for small businesses, analyzing market opportunities, etc.

Thirty participants worked around simple entrepreneurial concepts to determine their market position. Participants were appreciative of this workshop. Following are a few quotes from members who attended the workshop:

 “It was a great pleasure attending this workshop. For a young woman aspiring to start my own business this workshop equipped me with an understanding of what I needed to start. The exercises conducted actually showed a clear example of customer demand, and supply” – Yvone Bapu

“I found most useful the definition of who a entrepreneur is, and the ‘purple cow story.’ Thank you for making me climb a step up.” – Lily Kila

“The most practical and applicable workshop I have attended! Everything was applicable to my business. Very empowering!” – Ginia Siaguru

“My biggest lesson learned – with the paper planes exercise – is listening to market demand. Not to worry about volume output, or rate of productivity; listening to the customer, and their specific needs, can only ensure growth of business.” – Mona L. Endehipa

This workshop was organized at the American Corner, at the National Library, and was supported by the U.S. Embassy in Port Moresby.

Hammad Siddiqui is Deputy Country Director for CIPE Pakistan.