Papua New Guinea | 13 March 2023

PSDI travels to Bougainville for Women in Business consultations

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The Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) has traveled to the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (AROB) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) for consultations with women business owners and operators.

PSDI Senior PNG Law and Policy Expert Rosanda Kora, PSDI PNG Country Coordinator Ange Kuselley, and PSDI Consultant AdiAna Vesikula from 6–10 March 2023 traveled to Buka and Arawa in AROB for a series of consultations with local women business owners.

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PSDI’s Rosanda Kora (left), Ange Kuselley (second from right), and AdiAna Vesikula (right) with women business owners in Arawa.

Participants were asked to consider:

      • How well is the AROB business environment working for women?
      • What challenges and barriers do women face?
      • What opportunities are there for reform?   

Consultations also considered women’s strengths as business owners; their experiences of business formalization; and the factors that influence AROB women business owners’ decision-making.

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More than 40 people attended PSDI's Women in Business consultation in Buka.

The consultation team also spoke with members of the Autonomous Bougainville Government and representatives of peak bodies such as Bougainville Women's Federation, Central Bougainville Women in SME Association, Poroka Women's Association, and Buka Business Association.

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Women business owners in Arawa.

PSDI’s consultations in AROB follow similar consultations held in 2022 in Lae, Kavieng, Mount Hagen, and Port Moresby. The findings will be provided to PNG’s Investment Promotion Authority (IPAto inform opportunities to improve women business owners’ experiences. 

Understanding the experiences of businesswomen, including those in the informal economy, is essential for a complete picture of the role and contribution of women,” Ms Kora said.Supporting women-owned businesses and addressing the barriers they face is also critical to achieve inclusive economic growth.” 

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Women in Business consultation participants in Buka, joined by PNG Investment Promotion Authority Managing Director Clarence Hoot (left).

PSDI is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance program in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand. It supports ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to achieve inclusive, private sector-led economic growth, including through reforms designed to enhance the economic empowerment of women.