How Financial Inclusion Can Boost Businesses and Employment in PNG

Financial inclusion is crucial for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Papua New Guinea (PNG) to achieve their full potential, foster sustainable growth, and create more employment opportunities. The recent launch of the Third National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS3) 2023-2027 emphasizes the importance of incorporating the unbanked and underbanked into the formal economy. This article will discuss five main points on how financial inclusion can help businesses make more money and create more employment in PNG, with a focus on the role of CEFI, Banks and Partners (CBP) like the MSME Council in driving these outcomes.

1. Access to credit and financial services: Financial inclusion allows small businesses and entrepreneurs to access essential financial services, including credit, savings, and insurance. With improved access to these services, businesses can invest in growth, expand their operations, and ultimately generate more revenue. CBP should work together to develop tailored financial products and services for small businesses and entrepreneurs, addressing their unique needs and challenges.

2. Enhancing financial literacy and business skills: Financial inclusion also encompasses financial literacy and education, empowering business owners to make informed financial decisions and manage their resources effectively. By improving financial literacy, businesses can better manage their cash flow, identify investment opportunities, and reduce financial risks. CBP should prioritize financial education programs targeted at small businesses and entrepreneurs, equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed to grow their ventures and create employment opportunities.

3. Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship: Financial inclusion can foster innovation and entrepreneurship by providing the necessary resources and support for aspiring business owners to turn their ideas into reality. With access to financial services and a supportive environment, entrepreneurs can develop new products, services, and business models that generate revenue and create jobs. CBP should promote innovation by investing in incubators, accelerators, and mentorship programs that support entrepreneurs and small businesses in PNG.

4. Expanding market opportunities: Financially inclusive environments enable businesses to expand their market reach, both domestically and internationally. With access to digital financial services and technology solutions, small businesses and entrepreneurs can reach new customers, reduce transaction costs, and increase their revenue streams. CBP should focus on leveraging technology to develop digital payment platforms and e-commerce solutions that support business growth and job creation.

5. Strengthening the overall economy: Financial inclusion plays a vital role in creating a more robust and resilient economy, benefiting not only individual businesses but the entire nation. When small businesses and entrepreneurs have access to financial services, they can contribute to the economic growth of PNG by generating revenue, creating jobs, and driving innovation. This, in turn, leads to increased government revenue through taxes, which can be invested in infrastructure, education, and other essential services. CBP should collaborate to develop and implement policies that support financial inclusion and drive sustainable economic growth in PNG.

Financial inclusion is essential for small businesses and entrepreneurs in PNG to unlock their growth potential, generate more revenue, and create employment opportunities. A more financially inclusive environment will not only benefit individual businesses but also contribute to a more prosperous and sustainable future for us.

Des Yaninen is President of the PNG MSME Council and has been an outstpoken advocate for MSME development in PNG for over a decade. Contact him on email des@pacifund.com.


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