PNG National Reserch Institute is pleased to release its Discussion Paper No. 187 on “Stori bilong stret pasin stoa: Reflections from beneficiaries of indigenisation of the trade stores program in Papua New Guinea”. The report note that “a major constraint to the growth and development of indigenous-owned Small and Medium enterprise (SMEs) in PNG has been the lack of adequate credit”.
The Stret Pasin Stoa Program was therefore designed to offer credit, entrepreneurship training and business management skills to the SME sector to support new business start-up and growth of existing enterprises in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. But little is known about how the program fared. So, the authors of the report, Thomson Honga and Dr. Francis Odhuno, contacted some beneficiaries of the program to assess whether the enterprises, households, and individual recipients benefited from the scheme and to identify challenges faced by these beneficiaries.
The authors found that the Stret Pasin Stoa Scheme was beneficial to the growth of enterprises and the wellbeing of households and individual recipients. They note, however, that although the program worked well back then, the business environment, market conditions, and development status of PNG have changed significantly over time. The report recommended that the Stret Pasin Stoa Program should be revived with new features encompassing current market trends.
The authors agree with the informants that the original model that fizzled out in the 1990s may not be effective today and some key features may not be relevant to the current credit market. As a solution, the authors of the report, recommend a new version of the scheme that includes key features of the old scheme but also takes into account current market conditions.
“The results support findings of other studies —adequate supply of credit and incentives to the SME sector underpins social and economic development. Thus, the program has the potential to positively impact many low-income households and to help small businesses gain access to finance and credit.”
Overall, the program helped grow indigenous retail enterprises. Given this potential, most interviewees suggested the program should be revived as the Government of PNG also attempts to revive and implement the Reserved Activities for National Enterprises in PNG.
The Media Release can be accessed on the PNG NRI website https://www.pngnri.org. Also, follow discussions and updates on our social media platforms:
Authorised for release by:
Dr. Osborne Sanida
PNG NRI Acting Director