More than 100 women have accepted the WECREATE Challenge, joining the business training and accelerator program for female entrepreneurs.
They will participate in an ‘Extreme Build a Business Workshop’ in January 2017, where they will receive business advice and mentoring from a team of experts.
A strong social media campaign and the support of Port Moresby’s Women’s Business Resource Centre saw 115 women applying to be part of the Challenge.
The most promising twenty-five applicants will be placed in a six-month business development program to help get their ideas off the ground.
The would-be entrepreneurs are seeking help to establish a wide range of businesses, including real estate ventures, retail shops, florists, bakeries, tailors, construction start-ups and catering services.
WECREATE Challenge offers a platform for aspiring businesswomen to build their businesses, create new jobs for Papua New Guineans and become role models for young women.
The Challenge is a joint initiative of the Australian and United States Governments, supported through the Pacific Women Shaping Pacific Development Program.
Donor agencies, banks and women’s organisations have supported the Challenge, generating strong interest in the program.
The Women’s Business Resource Centre – a key WECREATE partner - provides women from all backgrounds access to information and training on financial literacy and entrepreneurship, and help with navigating Papua New Guinea’s business landscape.
The Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), which runs the Women’s Business Resource Centre, said supporting women to become economically empowered had important flow-on effects.
CIPE Country Coordinator Eli Webb said: “Stronger women means stronger families, which means a stronger Papua New Guinea.”
“Women in Papua New Guinea have tremendous reserves of talent and initiative. By supporting this program, the Australian and US governments are demonstrating their commitment to Papua New Guinean women and helping them to improve their lives and empower their communities.”
The Australian High Commission’s Gender Counsellor Susan Ferguson said: “We know that countries with a flourishing private sector, in which women are equal participants, enjoy improved living standards.”
For further information, including access to related materials, please contact the Australian High Commission media team: +675 7090 0100
WECREATE Program Manager Kila Tau speaks to participants at the Women’s Business Resource Centre in Port Moresby.