Finance scheme successful

Islands

By ELIZABETH VUVU
THE implementation of small-to-medium enterprise (SME) finance scheme under an agreement between the East New Britain government and Kokopo Microfinance Limited has proven successful for people venturing into small businesses.
Governor Ereman ToBaining Jr said the continuation of this scheme this year would help entrepreneurs venture into small business with funding assistance.
The initiative was further enhanced through the successful partnership with Australian Business Volunteers’ “Your Entrepreneur Scheme”.
A month long training was conducted late last year which saw coaching and mentoring of ENB’s first batch of local entrepreneurs.
The governor said this value-added training programme would be fully supported again this year to guide small and local businessmen and women to improve their skills and knowledge in the growth of their businesses.
ToBaining said finalisation of the various five year plans in the economic sector including the agriculture plan, fisheries plan and focus on the SME policy were important documents to set the benchmark for the province in economic growth.
An impact project that will be funded by the government is the ENB Fisheries facility at Kurakakaul in Rabaul.
ToBaining said in light of an agreed moratorium on open sea trans-shipment. This facility once constructed would form part of the province’s preparation for another investment in the fisheries sector.
The investment will be the biggest for the province.
He said it is expected to create spin offs in the communities as tuna will no longer be trans-shipped in open sea but stored on shore at Kurakakaul.

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