Forum, expo provides stage for small businesses

Business

ABOUT 50 small businesses set up their booths at the expo during the 5th PNG Women’s Forum in Port Moresby.
Centre for International Private Entreprise (CIPE) country director Eli Webb said it was the first time small-medium enterprises (SMEs) had been included in the forum to display their products – jewellery, tailoring and hair and beauty products among others.
“There’s a lot of them who had made their sales today which is very exciting,” she said.
E-Products Ltd, which specialises in printing, based at Boroko and had recently ventured into jewellery, was one of the SMEs to set up a booth at the expo.
Manager Elisa Haiara said as small business owners, they only operated out from where they were located and to set up at such a forum was a great opportunity and an avenue for them to grow and venture out.
Hanamoa Organics that produces and sells virgin coconut oil for cooking, skin and hair as well as scented soap products had also set up at the expo.
Representative Kari Nihara said they had a small plantation in Abau, Central, as well as a mini factory where they processed their oil products and transported them to Port Moresby.
She said they packed their soap products at their property at Paga Hill where they operated from.
Nihara said the forum and expo was an opportunity for them to market their product as well as creating partnership with other women or businesses.
The PNG Women’s Forum is a two-day event which started yesterday to discuss women’s political, economic and social empowerment.
The CIPE, in partnership with the US Embassy, had organised the event, which will reflect on past accomplishments and present challenges in women’s political and economic empowerment.
Other areas of focus included men’s voices in women’s empowerment, women in technology, and women’s entrepreneurship.
Webb said the forum had 150 approved participants but had received more applications.
She said they had to cut that down and the approval of participants were based on the type of work and the partnership they had in their small space.
Webb said the participants were not only Port Moresby-based but also from other parts of the country.
She said they hoped to see strong network forged after the forum.

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