Executive Director, PNG Women in Business
Winner of the 2015 Westpac Outstanding Woman of the Year
It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Janet Kaki Sape who died aged 58 on 28 July 2017.
Janet was the founder and Executive Director of PNG Women in Business. She was also one of the Pacific’s best-known advocates on women’s issues, particularly on the need for economic empowerment and financial freedom.
As a Director on the Board of Women’s Microbank, Janet was instrumental in establishing the organisation – the first microfinance institution devoted to women in the Pacific and only the fourth in the world. She also represented women and girls on the National Capital District Commission Board.
Janet trained and worked as a teacher before realising she had a talent for business that could help women to pursue entrepreneurship and boost their family income. She has supported countless women to start up and manage small businesses through mentoring, coaching and mobilising finance to allow business growth.
Janet started Women in Business to ensure women had the tools and advice needed to be successful, while at the same time linking them to other businesswomen and to national and international markets. The organisation started with a handful of members and is now the peak body for female entrepreneurs with more than 20,000 members.
Janet was named as the winner of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) First PNG Iconic Women for 2015.
Janet has been a candidate in three national elections, and in 2017 again ran for parliament. She has represented women and girls on the National Capital District Commission Board. A professional netball player, Janet also represented PNG and the Pacific in the world championships before coaching the national team, to eventually become president of the PNG Netball Federation.
Speaking at her funeral, the managing director of Papua New Guinea’s Women in Business, Shakeel Ram, described Janet as fearless, funny and fabulous.