Building a business in Papua New Guinea with little or no capital

While finance, or access to capital, is an issue for young entrepreneurs, it is possible to build a business with little to no capital, says Roberta Morlin, founder and co-owner of KLM Consulting, which provides marketing research and technology consulting. Financial literacy is the key, adds Melbourne consultant, David Martin.

A finalist in 2015 Kumul GameChanger program, Roberta Morlin is a leader in PNG’s growing community of young tech-savvy entrepreneurs. With guidance, she moved from creating apps to running a consulting agency specialising in market research and technology.

Entrepreneur Roberta Morlin Source: Business Advantage International

‘I pretty much do a lot of work around artificial intelligence,’ she told the Business Advantage PNG Investment conference in Sydney last month.

‘When I first started in 2015, I had 30 different ideas and I had to validate (reduce) those ideas down to 15. I had to further validate over the next 15 months down to four, which I am currently working on,’ she said.

Morlin also studied at Draper University in Silicon Valley and is also a mentor with the 2017 Kumul Gamechanger program.

Health and education

Morlin believes the PNG health and education sectors provide opportunities for young IT entrepreneurs. Her mentoring network now has more than 70 members.

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‘We sit down and we talk with these youth and we understand their passion so that we can match them to globally-funded opportunities.

‘You can build a business with little to no capital, which is what we’re teaching.’

‘Fifty per cent of our population are youths, so we need to prepare them for the jobs of the future—and not only what they are currently studying.

‘We sit down and talk to small and medium-sized businesses, and youth who want to create different opportunities.’

‘Funding is an issue,’ she says, ‘but you can build a business with little to no capital, which is what we’re teaching.’

Morlin advises budding entrepreneurs that if they think that capital ‘is always an issue when you rock up to the banks, maybe you should think about how you can start small and very lean’.

‘Entrepreneurs should just take the plunge and slowly build a business.’

She says that with savings of just K500, you can start an online business tomorrow and keep growing until you’ve used that capital until you build something big.

‘It’s always what you’re passionate about growing, as opposed to understanding market trends.’

Financial literacy

Dr David Martin. Credit: Melbourne Polytechnic

Entrepreneurs should just take the plunge and slowly build a business, rather than wait for a bank loan or an aid grant, according to Dr David Martin, Chairman of M·CAM Inc., which provides financial advice in developing countries, and Creator of the CNBC IQ100 equity index.

Martin’s Heritable Innovation Trust has been involved in the development of community projects and companies in Rabaul. This includes Amruqa (formerly Pacific Spices), which exports spices and essential oils.

He says communities often believe that they need aid or grants to develop their local resources.

‘It’s far better,’ he tells Business Advantage PNG, ‘that they get supply agreements. The focus needs to be on the purchasing side.’

Martin says financial literacy is the key to business success, particularly understanding capital markets, finance corporations, asset holding, leasing corporations, and other developer-related entities.

Comments

  1. Samuel Tia says:

    I am thinking of setting up a metal recycling site somewhere suitable and thinking of cleaning/removing all the metal scraps in this city. My aim is to set up a recycling site for metals and export it to other countries.
    Please do advice me on more on what to do.
    Thanks.

  2. I have been advicing lot of young and grown ups to go into small business for free. But I pity them having no startup capital. However there are some who took up the challenge with no capitals or very small capital and now they are in business. It depends on what business you are interested in but I believe in starting small and be consistent.

  3. Joy Go says:

    I am looking for any interested parties looking to venture in retail (general merchandise); LED lights and / or tailoring. I am selling my business.

  4. Roderick Mandau says:

    I am thinking of starting up a Mud Crab Venture that will be supplying the local market & exporting as well some of the best known Mud Crabs in PNG from my local West Coast Tigak area (specifically in Tome).
    I guess my biggest issue currently is start up capital to kick start the venture. My estimates on capital needed will be about K5,000 that will take care of about 3 x 100 kg of mud crabs from Kavieng to POM to sell and export after which the cost of freighting will be K2,700 ( the reminder will act as buffer for unforeseen circumstances that might impede on the start up processes.
    After export and selling to buyers I will be looking at an estimated revenue of K10,500 from the 3 shipments.
    Any interested persons of the venture who want to be a partner and/or support can get in touch with me on 7125 9425, 7373 8800 or 3234288 or better still email: kansolrod49@gmail.com.
    I need support and Advise please.

  5. Hosea Malai says:

    I have an abundance supply of kwila hardwood on my traditional land which is on a Timber Permit Area(TPA) authourtiserd by the Forestry Department.I also have a sawmill and wish to supply kwila hardwood to potential buyers.Anyone interested please contact me on my gmail.

  6. Richard Puara says:

    I purchased a vacant customary land in late 2016 from legitimate landowners at Motukea close to Motukea International Port. I applied for free hold title through Land Title Commission in mid 2017 and my title was only granted last month.

    By doing so, I started a company to be engaged in logistics and storages since I have the asset. I recently approach financial institutions like BSP to mortgage my title and seek for a loan to develop the land and a small start up capital but their response was that I need to have a steady cash flow to maintenance the repayment even I mortgage the Title.

    Please can you assist me by giving some options available where I can undertake to secure start up capital…

  7. jerry mainao says:

    I want to run a texi business here in Lae due to the demand but don’t know how to start and need help here. please can someone who involve in texi business help on how to go about starting it
    70599586 is my nubber jerrymaiano2@gmail.com

  8. Richard Wakore says:

    I have a registered business in the construction industry, I have currently won a tender in one of the Government Department worth K400, 000.00. But due to Government lack of funding the agencies doesn’t get its funding share yet, and will take time. But I wanted to complete the work,
    Therefore for am looking for any possible partner to assist me with finance, will double his share in return.
    Interested parties please contact me #72199418/72459701

  9. Francis Saliau says:

    I am into different business of finance company,multimedia production running general education livelihood training programs and writing community based plans for locals to seek funding from donor agencies but don’t have a start up capital. Could you assist me with some advice and a start up capital to put me on my legs. I can be contacted on 675 71578273 or 70115587 or reach me on my email.francissaliau6@gmail.com.

    • Philomena O.Saliau says:

      I run a multi-media production company called Visual Link in Port Moresby , however how do I seek funding or capital to assist with purchasing additional equipment for the company.

      On the other hand I have a huge land that I would like to put up something but again need funding
      Email me for more Info: philomenaosaliau@gmail.com Phone: 7448 8694

  10. I am currently established as a computer repair company here in Bougainville. I really need advice in terms of capital to advance my business further in order to cater for my client demand. I really need aid here to further this IT service here to the next level accordingly.

    Please email me on: juniormark789@gmail.com
    Phone#: 79767222

  11. Daisy Henry says:

    I specialize in eco friendly high quality cocentrated perfume oils and natural organic pure facecare oils and treatments which I have been doing for the past 6yrs and wish to bring the concept to PNG however, I would like to ask your advise if there is a need of a product or service the market demands for and not available in PNG?
    Kindly advise or email: daisyah@hotmail.com or phone: 0413 768 913.
    Thank you
    Daisy Henry.

  12. I have land around Nadzab area which is about 45 minutes drive from Lae and it is a prime location. It is situated just at the back of the airport. This location is really good to set up a lodge or a guest house for traveling passengers or others. However, the problem is start up capital.

    Please, I need advice.

  13. Ruth Wamsa says:

    I have k3000 and really wanted to start up a god bar.I saw a place for rent but no capital.l really wanted some capital for set up.any ideas.

  14. My hubby has been working for a security firm for over a year now and whilst working came across so many good clients that have asked him to let go of his job and start up one for himself so they can become his clients but the problem is the start up capital. We have asked families and friends but to no avail. I believe security business is a very good one and would not want to let this opportunity pass us by. Anyone out there able to assist us with our problem? Thank you.

  15. Olisha Wesley says:

    Any one who has a second hand Lukas mill on sale around port Moresby. I would like to purchase. Please email me. email: olishawesley@gmail.com. thanks

    • Trevor Guise says:

      Hi l know you’re after a mobile saw mill but what are you really into with the timber milling? Local requirements, export etc ???

      Trevor

  16. Dianne Kasokason says:

    I found a business that has a huge potential to set one up financially for life but requires funds. Obviously the banks can’t loan you the funds you need for Start Ups so basically one has to borrow from family and friends. The fact that everyone I know is strapped for cash, the question is do I let this huge potential pass me by and be like everyone else I know or find the help I need to get ahead in life? I choose option 2, so I
    I am just putting it out there should there be anybody who has the resources and is not afraid to take risks than please do contact me via my gmail.

    • Hi Dianne.
      Has someone already contacted you? What kind of business do you want to commence & where is your location? I might be interested as a partner

  17. Alfred Paul Kiandu says:

    I’m a aspiring young entrepreneur. I’m seeking business partners who has the financial capacity to partner with me to start and operate a coffee buying,processing and export business. I see there is a big potential in this business. If interested and to discuss further you can contact me on Digicel # 72052412 or email to alfiekiandu.58@gmail.com

  18. Danny Tanakae says:

    My tribe has a large hectar of land with mature pine trees but we lack advise as on how to venture into investment opportunities with this asset on hand. We held in meeting to open up an a youth group association and integrate our asset into use in investment ways. We lack advise.
    Thank you

  19. Asi Ibusubu says:

    I raised some money around K100, 000 to start up my finance company for low income earners. I have registered the company but need technical advise to setup administration and runs it. I also need someone to write up my company proposal, cashflows and business profile and start up so that commission will be given. Can someone has the skills to assist me? Please then contact me on Digicel no. 73821852 or email me on asisupernova7@gmail.com

  20. Thank you for sharing. I am looking for a local partner with on a number of businesses into health; agriculture; management consultancy; pharmacy; mining; gas and oil. I have a registered business
    Interested parties contact me by email
    absonsim@gmail.com

  21. Nelco Wai says:

    Do we have any venture capitalists in PNG? Is there someone who have the resources and dares to take the risk. I have many good ideas and proposals but cannot find the one whom I can partner with to venture into. Please if there is someone who wants to take the risk let me know. My email is nelcowai461@gmail.com or contact me on 675 79442180

  22. Jeremy Kawage says:

    I started Pacific Drainage Solution a company that is specialised in Drainage system and I started with no money,no vehicle nothing.I went to the bank with my first sub-contract agreement to asking for a small start up capital but was refuse because I have not done any transaction.
    Now I am at the bank again because I need some little help from the Bank to help me with my second contract.
    For me I see alot of our fellow brothers and sisters have potential ideas but the problem is start up capital.
    I am never giving up

  23. Allan Wawah says:

    Developing my registered land, titled with 38 hectares area has been really challenging for me. This is because I lacked financial capacity to start up and expand.

    I am also interested to strike a joint venture with any business firms in the area of agriculture, livestock, housing, tourism or conservation but it has been also difficult to identify potential and genuine investors.

    Hence, advise how I can go about I can be supported.

  24. Allan Wawah says:

    I am a young entrepreneur in Madang Province. I have registered land with legal title. The current market valuation of my land equates to about PGK500,00 according to a local valuer in Madang Province, PNG. It is situatated about 20 minutes drive from Madang town towards the south coast. The land is suitable for agriculture, livestock, housing and other related development. Although I have registered a business name, I lack financial capacity to start up my proposed small business.

    Please advise how I can be supported.

    Thank you.

  25. Leo Kaptigau says:

    The sad reality for startups and young entrepreneurs is the lack of financial and non financial venture capital in Papua New Guinea. Companies or potential venture capitalists unwilling to risk investment in startups. Whether you need money or not, any startup still develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that will have to attract a venture capital investor either financial or non financial to take the next step up. That again should also depend on the environment and ecosystem a startup in PNG can scale. I personally see lots of opportunities in the AgroTech or Agro commodity market, which is a growing within the South East Asia particularly our neighborhood Indonesia who tops Asia in this sector. One particular startup is iGrow a startup focusing on connecting farmers, landowners and venture capitalist who are not farmers or landowners but can see the investment opportunity in agriculture. PNG should learn a lot from this.

  26. Johnny Kolkia says:

    I was hoping that I will start my law Firm with some capitals that I expected to recieve but I waited and it never eventuate. I could not run to the bank for a loan or even allow others who saw the potential to invest in my Firm and wanted to do so but I refused their offer, simply because I didn’t want pressure from such persons.

    So I started small with absolutely nothing . No start up capital, no nothing but I believe that I can make it coz am very forcused on my goals. It’s really tough but am still sailing though.

  27. I am into on line store marketing, selling authentic PNG bilums, I spent almost K6000 plus to start this business. purchased electronic equipment, plus thousand kina worth of bilums from Lae Market. And I still have not fully update or fix, pay my bills on line. I still need more money to really furnished this business. I believed I will fix this soon.

  28. Jerome Tarcusy says:

    I am a young Bougainvillean. I have plan to start up a Rental houses. I have a trees for timber and a land for building the houses. The problem is the capital to start a business. Can you help me in someways?

    My email: http://www.jerometarcusy@gmail.com

  29. JEFFREY LASON says:

    I am a young entreprenuer who has lately registered my building construction company and have no capital available for start up. I am here seeing it as an issue to me.

    I would like to know where I could get support.

  30. I am into publishing and business start-up training. The most common complaint of would-be entrepreneurs is lack of start-up capital.

    I show people how they can raise money from informal activities to start real businesses. I also tell people that banks will not lend to them because the banks don’t know them and their abilities to run businesses. Their best bet is to start on their own and go to the banks after they have established transaction records.

    I also talk to a lot of young people. My message to them is that jobs are scarce so being in business for themselves is a viable option. With technology, they can start with little start up capital and operational costs. Again, not being able to borrow should not hinder them.

    I am glad to hear that what I have been saying to people tallies with what Dr. David Martin and Roberta Morlin are reported to have stated.

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