| United Nations Development Program
PORT MORESBY - An entrepreneurship acceleration program has helped an aspiring school administrator and business owner establish a pre-school in the Port Moresby suburb of Hohola.
Lino Eaki is on a journey to expand her business as well as providing a vital service for many working-class parents.
Steppingstone Preschool, tucked away behind a church in a suburban community, enrolled up to 10 children in 2022, its first year of business.
Lino was part of cohort of 28 women entrepreneurs who participated in the six-week program facilitated by the United Nations Development Programme and Credit Union Foundation Australia.
The 28 women gained access to vital skills required to grow their small businesses and address the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs.
The program included instructor-led training, self-paced learning, talks by industry leaders and mentoring sessions.
“I have been teaching for over 20 years, teaching from public to private school, and as a mum myself saw the need for earlier learning and childcare targeting the working class,” Lino said
“Previously, from the fees I collected as school fees went to paying rentals and expansion of the school.
“However, attending this course has allowed me to improve on my financial management of the funds.
“It also taught me how to market my business online with useful digital and innovative tools and ideas,” she said.
Women entrepreneurs benefited from topics including digital marketing, financial management, customer experience and logistics.
“I gained a lot of knowledge from this course; it has been mind boggling and as the name of my school suggests - a steppingstone,” said Lino.
“This experience gave me the confidence and the drive I needed.
"I am also happy to say that this has not only been a journey for me, but for my school, students and their parents.
“So to the organisers, I say, you have not only helped me grow but you have impacted the lives of my students and their family.”