22 June 2018
Dozens of enthusiastic entrepreneurs will head home to Papua New Guinea this week ready to use new business skills they’ve gained from studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
The group completed Certificate IVs in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation this semester thanks to support from the Australian Government under an Australia Awards short course.
USC will hold a special farewell ceremony for the 26 participants on Friday 22 June at Maroochy RSL, Memorial Avenue, Maroochydore.
Joyce Hohoa Ovia, who runs an air conditioning service company, said the experience had shaped the way she is now conducting her business.
“The most valuable lesson I’ve learned is to plan your business in advance,” she said.
“It is important to identify strategies in adding value to your primary product to get a better return on investment. The business discussions we’ve had with the successful entrepreneurs here in Australia have allowed me to see that.”
The graduating students were hosted by USC’s International Development unit, which works to assist emerging leaders from developing countries in collaboration with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade through the Australia Awards.
The Australia Awards offer the next generation of leaders for development an opportunity to undertake study, research and professional development in Australia.
USC’s Global Projects Development Manager Tami Harriott said most of the PNG business owners found they needed a stronger understanding of business strategy and modelling.
“Our goal was to ensure participants learnt how to start and run a business, identify business trends, conduct market research, develop marketing strategies, undertake risk and reputation management, and leverage opportunities when seeking financial support,” she said.
Ms Harriott said the participants also visited various Sunshine Coast businesses and attended workshops run by local industry professionals.
Also attending the farewell ceremony on Friday will be State Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson, Sunshine Coast Councillor Jenny McKay, and Papua New Guinea Consulate representative Jimmy Ovia.