The National, Friday 21st September 2012
By PAUL MAOLAI
PLANNING, preparation and prayer proved successful ingredients for budding Milne Bay businesswomen Pele Mark.
Mark applied these ingredients to successfully negotiate a loan with the National Development Bank (NDB) branch in Alotau, Milne Bay Province.
Mark is the first woman in Milne Bay to have a loan approved by the NDB under the Women in Business (WIB) Start Up Loan Package Programme.
The loan enabled her to purchase a 15-seater Toyota bus worth over K80, 000 from Alotau Ela Motors.
Alotau NDB WIB officer, Leonie Janginen confirmed that Mark was the first successful Milne Bay women recipient of the WIB start up loan package.
It was also the first loan for Janginen to process.
“It was also a successful application for me to help process the loan and also under WIB loan in Milne Bay since my transfer from NDB head office in Port Moresby under the programme,” she said.
She added that under the programme women can apply for loans from a minimum of K5, 000 to a maximum of K10, 000.
Projects that can be funded under the loan for women are poultry, piggery, fuel distribution and in Mark’s case, a Public Motor Vehicle. (PMV)
There are certain criteria a woman applicant must meet before applying for a loan.
The criteria are that the applicant must have some management experience, be trained in business and have attended business related courses.
If she has a business it must be registered under the Investment Promotion Authority (IPA).
Janginen encouraged women in Milne Bay who are keen to go into business and are confident that they meet the criteria to see her at the Alotau NDB office.
A checklist will be carried out by a loans officer before the application is screened for processing.
Mark, 47, a mother of three and grand mother from Divinai and Wagawaga villages in Milne Bay who has been a Christian for 28 years planned to own either a house or PMV bus five years ago.
She said that after 29 years of formal employment she wanted to operate her own business.
I wanted to own a house or run a PMV business.
“I had this entrepreneurship spirit in me when I went to Cameron high school many years ago where I was very good at home economics especially cooking, baking and sewing and these talents have equipped me well for a better life,” she said.
Mark later became employed for 10 years as a bank clerk with the Westpac Bank in Port Moresby and Alotau. During her time with the bank she met many business man and women and attended many courses.
She is now employed with the Alotau General Hospital working in the accounts department.
She said after 29 years of formal employment the desire to start a business became stronger five years ago.
With much prayer and the loving support of her husband Raleigh the seeds to starting a business were sown.
As a Christian I used these two valuable scriptures of Mathew 6:33 and Jeremiah 33:3.
“I believe to build a business you must be able to do the possible and have faith and confidence in God to do the impossible,” she added.
She said she had to attend accounting and business school with students that were her children’s age with me being the grandmother in the class at the Alotau based Employment Assistance Services (EAS).
She is still attending the school after two years studying part time self sponsoring herself.
On July 29, 2012 her breakthrough came. Her prayers were answered when her white brand new 15-seater Toyota bus was driven into her yard at KB compound.
The bus will be named Peralyn – Faith in Action. Peralyn are her family member’s initials.
Apart from the bus which she will run in the Alotau Town, Mark also has a thriving home bakery baking bread, rolls, buns, cakes and pizza, a tailoring business and a trade store at Divinai village.