Press Release

APEC BEST Award for women entrepreneurs competition is on tomorrow

04/09/2018

Four Papua New Guinean women-owned Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contesting against entrants from the other 20 economies in the region for the APEC Business Efficiency & Success Target (BEST) Award for 2018 which will be judged tomorrow (Wednesday September 5th) during the Women and Economy Forum currently held in Port Moresby this week.

Some of the women entrepreneurs selected to compete in the APEC BEST Award.

Four Papua New Guinean women-owned Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) contesting against entrants from the other 20 economies in the region for the APEC Business Efficiency & Success Target (BEST) Award for 2018 which will be judged tomorrow (Wednesday September 5th) during the Women and Economy Forum currently held in Port Moresby this week.

Two other MSMEs, one of which is owned by a woman living with disability (hearing impairment) have also been selected to showcase their businesses at the International Convention Centre (ICC) during the week.

The Department and Ministry of Youth, Religion and Community Development nominated the MSMEs, which is also responsible for women empowerment and issues. Nomination criteria used was based on each business’s uniqueness and potential for expansion as well as its applicability to other APEC economies.

The four MSMEs are:

  1. Jaukae Bilum Products Jaukae Bilum Products, owned by bilum fibre artist, Florence Jaukae specialises in designing and producing natural and synthetic fibre woven products ranging from bags (bilums) to outfits (bilum dresses). Initiated in 2002, Jaukae Bilum Products employs 30 permanent weavers and its products are sold in country and exported and have featured on local and international runways. Various museums overseas also exhibit samples of Jaukae Bilum Products in their respective collections.

  2. Devine Management Services Limited Founded in 2015 and trading under Devine Management Services Limited is DMS Organics, owned by development entrepreneur Dorothy Luana, which specialises in farming, downstream processing, supplying and retailing of local food and health and beauty products. The company is based in Warangoi, East New Britain Province is now connecting with farmers from other provinces including Chimbu, Eastern Highlands and ENB to up-scale its production capacity which is expected to benefit farmers with fair pricing, create employment and an opportunity to export in the future. DMS Organics products include dry herbs and spices, honey, Galip by-products, body scrubs and creams, skin and hair oils and cakes, cookies and biscuits amongst others.

  3. Mitu Spices
    Mitu Spices, owned and managed by Theresia Timbi, is a manufacturer, supplier and retailer of a range of local organic spices, based in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands Province. The spices, including turmeric, ginger, cinnamon and chilli amongst others are sourced within the highlands region and are processed by hand by a local women’s group, which are then packed and labelled. This initiative provides women in the area training on how to conserve food crops as well as an avenue to generate income for their livelihood. Mitu Spices are used for cooking, mainly for seasoning or for health and medicinal purposes and have a potential for expansion and volume for export.

  4. Amanini Coffee Nursery Coffee entrepreneur Shallyn Lomutopa from Eastern Highlands Province is the owner of Amanini Coffee Nursery, specialised in growing and selling coffee as parchment and green bean for the past 35 years until 2016, when the company went into downstream processing by roasting and packaging coffee. Its flagship product, “Women’s Ginipa Coffee” represents an ‘all women coffee production process’ and pays tribute to the hard work of the women behind the success of company. With its production size and extensive network, Amanini Coffee Nursery has potential in exporting in the near future. The other two women entrepreneurs nominated to exhibit only are:

• Varo Matagu and Momoru Morea, both living with disability (hearing impairment) from the National Capital District Deaf Association who has been quite successful in the tailoring business since 2013. • Georgina Benson's Mohones’s Coffee incepted in 2016 and based in Lae, Morobe Province is specialised in re-distributing of Arabica speciality ground coffee in coffee filter bag (similar to a tea bag - 10grams p/bag), a the first of its kind in PNG. The business aims to supply quality coffee that is affordable and convenient to use anytime, anywhere. Mohones’s Coffee is sold locally to the informal market and lodges in Lae, Madang and the highlands provinces.

The APEC BEST award initiated by the Russian Federation and co-sponsored by China; Peru; Chinese Taipei; and USA was first launched in Lima, Peru in 2016 with 100 participants from the APEC economies; followed by the second contest held in Hue, Viet Nam in 2017 with 150 participants.

It is the first annual contest for women-entrepreneurs across the APEC region that raises women’s awareness on benefits of self-employment and help women-entrepreneurs to internationalise their businesses, attract international partners and potential investors from the APEC economies.

The contest also contributes to building networks among women entrepreneurs, consultants, mentors and investors across the region. Spreading best practices of women-owned MSMEs among APEC economies provides an opportunity to involve a larger number of women into entrepreneurship, create new jobs in different industries, and support economic growth and development by applying promising business models based on domestic success stories.

A panel of judges will select winners and the winners will be awarded certificates in the following categories:

  1. APEC BEST Award
  2. Highest growth potential
  3. Most innovative business model
  4. International attractiveness
  5. Best social impact
  6. The 4th industrial revolution project
  7. Special prize