Young entrepreneurs Chris Martin (left) and Archie Umbini hoping to take their business to the next level with help from the new Morobe Young Entrepreneurs Forum (MYEF)
Entrepreneurship is about solving a societal problem, satisfying a need, or overcoming a challenge. Ironically, Papua New Guinea is blessed with a plethora of problems, unsatisfied needs and challenges. The Morobe Young Entrepreneurs Forum (MYEF) was established this year to help youth identify such challenges in their communities and transform them into business opportunities.
MYEF was founded by a group of like-minded entrepreneurs and professionals who are dedicated to instilling and developing an entrepreneurial mindset in the young people of Morobe Province. The Forum functions as a platform that links advisers (i.e., experienced entrepreneurs and professionals) to youth, students and aspiring entrepreneurs to train, coach and mentor them in their respective entrepreneurial journeys – all on a voluntary basis.
The inaugural MYEF meeting was held last Saturday at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium Outdoor Volleyball Court and PNG Biomass was invited to participate in the event as the Company is known to drive local inclusive economic growth in and around the Markham Valley. For PNG Biomass, entrepreneurship is a key driving force for social and economic empowerment, particularly in the Markham Valley area. PNG Biomass supports MYEF as it aligns with PNG Biomass’ vision of empowering communities.
A significant number of secondary school students had registered and attended the Forum, demonstrating that the current young generation is not afraid of challenging the ‘employment until retirement’ status quo.
The highlight of the day were two young entrepreneurs Archie Umbini and Chris Martin, both twelfth-graders from the Bumayong Lutheran Secondary School. Umbini, who hails from the Finschhafen district of Morobe Province has already registered his money-lending business with the Investment Promotion Authority and has a client base throughout Lae city. Martin, from Menyama district of Morobe Province, is a good example of a young man for whom MYEF can make a difference. With the help of his family, Martin has also been running a money-lending operation, for almost ten years now. But due to a lack of business development and management skills he was unable so far to take his operations to the next level. Both young men are confident that with the guidance from MYEF advisers, they will succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.