Across the Pacific there are savvy women with great commercial ideas dreaming about starting a business and others already running small, but successful enterprises in villages and urban centres.
But it’s often hard to find information on how to get started or expand a business in the Pacific, and even harder to find other businesswomen to talk with – especially if you live outside of a main town centre.
That’s why the Australian Government and Westpac have set up Pacific Women in Business as an online resource to support women who are starting or running businesses in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and across the Pacific Islands.
The website is designed to be a one-stop-shop for information and resources on all aspects of business and entrepreneurship – from how to register a company name, to information on finding and securing finance.
Not only a portal to find information and resources, it is also a place to hear other women’s stories – to be inspired by their successes and learn from the mistakes that entrepreneurs inevitably make, and the obstacles they encounter along their business journey.
Westpac was Australia’s first ‘start-up’ company – made possible by the entrepreneurial spirit of a few business-minded individuals who refused to let red tape, naysayers and obstacles get in the way of providing banking services to the community. Today Westpac is one of Australia’s biggest businesses – employing more than 34,000 people globally. From its beginnings, Westpac knew that people need bank accounts and financial services to kick-start development and now helps other businesses to start up and expand, with a focus on creating opportunities for women to participate fully in financial services.
In developing countries like Papua New Guinea and Fiji, micro-small-and medium businesses are an engine for economic growth – and start-ups can be a real step-up for women and their families. Small businesses employ half of the world’s workers, and in families where the mother runs a business, children are much more likely to get an education and have much better health and employment outcomes.
We believe that there is no better way to make a living than by drawing on your talents and interests. Working for yourself also offers the kind of flexibility that is not often possible in other employment, which is important for mothers and those who care for their family.
The Australian Government and Westpac are very proud to support Pacific Women in Business, and we look forward to seeing women in business across the region thrive.
Note: Westpac has offices in PNG and Fiji, so much of the content on this site relates to these countries. We hope, though, that it is useful for all women entrepreneurs across the Pacific and beyond.
We welcome your feedback on additional resources or contacts that would help to improve Pacific Women in Business. Please contact us with your ideas and feedback.