The School of Business and Public Policy, under the initiative of the “Beyond the Textbook” Program, hosted a week-long workshop on Business Planning, at the University’s Waigani Campus, from 28 March to 1 April, with the theme “Building the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs”. It provided great opportunities for young people to make a difference in their careers.

The Executive Dean of the School, Prof. Lekshmi Pillai, said that the workshop’s focus was on changing the attitude of students and encouraging them to think that they can be entrepreneurs, and be employers, rather than just employees, and most importantly, to make a difference in young peoples’ lives.
The Planning and Contribution Supervisor from Exxon Mobil PNG, Ms. Belinda Gurra, was pleased to present a cheque for K73 735 to Prof. Pillai on Wednesday, 30 March, to support the School’s inaugural session of the “Beyond the Textbook” initiative.

According to Ms. Gurra, her team at Exxon Mobil PNG hope that, through this workshop, students will gain knowledge about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship, and be inspired and motivated to, one day, run their own businesses and contribute to the local economy.

A representative of the participants, Mr. Devendra Zebedee, a final year Information and Communication Science student from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, described his participation in the workshop as a stepping stone for building the next generation of entrepreneurs, and creating a bridge that will help students to become part of the business world.

Mr. Zebedee also stated that he believes the workshop participants will now set their goals, create and develop business ideas, create networks with others, and follow their own paths as they grow to become entrepreneurs, and never give up, despite the risks which they will encounter.

The Deputy Dean (Academic) of the School, Dr. Ponnusamy Manohar, ended the Workshop, by thanking the core sponsor, Exxon Mobil PNG, for supporting the program, and for their continuous support of the School and the University. He extended his gratitude to the
Chancellor, Mr. Robert Igara, who presented his inspirational speech, as an entrepreneur in PNG.

He also thanked the staff of the School for organizing and facilitating the workshop, and most importantly, the participants for being committed, and dedicating their time to learn from the workshop. He encouraged them to bear in mind that each person is an asset and has a physical and mental capacity and talent to start up a business.

The workshop’s aim was to help students develop entrepreneurial skills, and prepare them for the mid-year business planning competition, which was initially launched in September 2021, for the students within the School. This year, the School is expanding the program to include the rest of the final year students in all of the Schools at the University.

The program has two stages – the Business Plan Workshop, and the business plan competition, where students are asked to submit and present their business plans and proposals.