US gives $1.5 Million Fund to Support Entrepreneurial Ecosystem for PNG Women

PORT MORESBY - During U.S. Assistant Secretary Daniel Russel’s visit to Papua New Guinea, on July 2 he announced new funding opportunities, in the amount of $1.8 million dollars to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem for women in Papua New Guinea to enable women’s economic empowerment. 

This new funding will help establish a PNG Women’s Business Center to provide a physical space for women, both established and up-and-coming businesswomen, to gain access to vital resources for economic empowerment such as training, mentoring, and access to entrepreneurial-related information and support. 

It will also help grow the capacity and ingenuity of female entrepreneurs in Papua New Guinea by holding business competitions and offering preparatory and post-competition training and mentoring to ensure participants the best chance of success in their businesses.

Additionally, the funding will help incorporate entrepreneurship into the curriculum at several of Papua New Guinea’s major universities and will support the PNG Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry through technical assistance, mentoring, and training.

Speaking to an audience of young Papua New Guinean professionals, government leaders, and business entrepreneurs at the Gateway Hotel in Port Moresby, Russel highlighted this programming as tangible evidence of the U.S. commitment to empowering Papua New Guinean women and underscored the U.S. commitment to the Pacific region. 

He encouraged the audience to take on the challenge to become the next generation of Papua New Guinea’s leaders and challenged them to pursue sustainable, inclusive, and transparent economic growth for all Papua New Guineans.

During his speech, Assistant Secretary Russel focused on the shared values Papua New Guinea and the United States have in common and praised Papua New Guinea in its burgeoning leadership role among Pacific Island nations.

Most significantly, Assistant Secretary Russel challenged the young, professional Papua New Guinean audience to continue their struggle to empower women and ensure that women achieve their rightful place in shaping Papua New Guinea’s future.

Assistant Secretary Russel is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service. Prior to his appointment as Assistant Secretary on July 12, 2013, Mr. Russel served at the White House as Special Assistant to the President and National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian Affairs.

During his tenure there, he helped formulate President Obama’s strategic rebalance to the Asia-Pacific Region, including efforts to strengthen alliances, deepen U.S. engagement with multilateral organizations, and expand cooperation with emerging powers in the region. 

Since joining the Foreign Service in 1985, he has held multiple postings in the United States and overseas, including in Japan, the Netherlands, Cyprus, and Korea. [USEmbassyinPNG]
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