Microfinance Digital Course Launched

The Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI) and the PNG Institute of Banking and Business Management (IBBM) launched the country’s first online Microfinance Digital Course for microfinance professionals on Friday 03 September. A total of 23 participants from microfinance institutions and Savings and Loans Society have registered and are undergoing the 6-month course exclusively online using zoom technology, with 5 days’ workshop at IBBM. The course will support staff and interested applicants to be successful in the microfinance dynamic environment and acquire new skills to build competence to meet the diverse needs of microbank customers. IBBM Dean, Dr Sweta Sud during the presentation stated the course materials cover all important microfinance subjects. “We have designed the mobile app for the CEFI Microfinance Digital Course, allowing participants to access the courses on their desktop and mobile phones.” Dr Sweta Sud revealed at the launch. CEFI Executive Director, Saliya Ranasinghe remarked proudly that the program will build more robust Microfinance professionals in the country to serve the rural population. “The access to gaining an accredited microfinance course is now at the finger tips for the industry and for others interested to pursue a career in the microfinance industry.”
“It refers to the provision of a whole range of financial services to lower-income people, especially the poor, who can use the funding to finance their businesses, acquire household assets, improve consumption, and invest in health and education and fund emergencies.” Mr Ranasinghe told participants. Bank of Papua New Guinea Assistant Governor Elison Pidik presented the letters of offer to participants and congratulated the institutions for recognising the need in upskilling their staff. “This is a new paradigm of banking education in the country and is an important milestone in microfinance industry. The microfinance industry commenced as an infant industry and has now expanded to serve over half a million people.” “This training will not only enhance skills of the existing staff but also develop a pool of microfinance professionals,” Mr Pidik said. The online microfinance professional course will run for the next six months with new batch expected to start mid-2022.

CEFI successfully hosts first online digital training

CEFI successfully hosted the country’s first-of-its-kind Online Digital Financial Literacy Training (ODFLT) for 33 Women in Small to Medium Enterprise (WSME). CEFI in partnership with Em Stret Holdings Limited and Institute of Banking and Business Management (IBBM) successfully delivered the ODFLT on July 28-29 at the CEFI training facility. The training held was delivered via online zoom application for women in outside centres and in-house training via digital video to Port Moresby-based participants. CEFI through the training review process of the training received positive feedback from WSME participants. Many participants reported that they found the training to be valuable, and have instilled new skills and confidence of doing their business digitally. The objective of the training was to identify challenges faced by WSMEs in accessing digital financial services, enhance participants’ knowledge of the available digital products and services and provide technical support and business advisory on the use of available digital financial products to transform and expand their business digitally.

Finance Finder tool to facilitate SME growth in country

CEFI Financial Inclusion Coordinator Albert Mokis demonstrating the use of the Finance Finder Tool during the launching in Port Moresby.
CEFI and Business Link Pacific (BLP) have launched the Finance Finder portal in Papua New Guinea to provide information about the latest SME financial products and services in the country on August 11, in Port Moresby. The new Finance Finder is available online for SMEs in PNG allowing businesses to search for loan options across a range of different providers, compare terms and interest rates, and save products to review later. The Finance Finder works with banks and financial institutions to provide the latest information about businesses products. Currently, MiBank, Kina Bank, BSP Financial Group Limited, People’s Micro Bank, Women’s Micro Bank, Kada Poroman Microfinance Limited and Credit Corporation Finance Limited have enlisted their SME products on the portal. CEFI and BLP are working closely with other licensed financial institutions to upload their financial products to diversify and expand options for SMEs. “Businesses will be able to look at finance options online as well as applying through BLP for help with their applications,” says Steve Knapp, BLP’s Director. “We are proud of our partnership with BLP to roll out the Finance Finder tool in PNG”, says Saliya Ranasinghe Executive Director of CEFI. “The SME Loan product guide released last year by CEFI was the first step to bring this information together,” says Bank of PNG Assistant Governor, Mr Ellison Pidik. “The Finance Finder will definitely benefit the SMEs in the country by providing access to information about the range of local lending products available, SMEs will be able to identify the most suitable product for them,” adds the Assistant Governor. BLP has various in-country partners in PNG offering in-person consultations, business diagnostics and business advisory services referrals that can support loan applications and pro- vide financial advice. Various key stakeholders from financial institutions, MSME sectors, CEFI, MSME Council, SME Corporation, BPNG, and members from the chambers of commerce attended this milestone event. The Finance Finder portal can be accessed at https://finance.busi- nesslinkpacific.com and www.thecefi. org

CEFI and BPNG staff guest lectures at UPNG Banking and Finance Department

CEFI Head of Training Jill Pijui and BPNG Manager for Banking Supervision Department, Sabina Deklin lectured on roles and functions of CEFI and BPNG and the new financial inclusion 2021-2025 currently under formulation. The sessions were attended by 22 students undergoing third-year banking and finance studies. The focus of the guest lectures was to provide the students with insights into national agenda for financial inclusion, CEFI’s mandate in monitoring financial inclusion expansion and its strategic partnership with government agencies and private sectors to improve citizens access to formal financial services. Sabina Deklin, Manager for Banking Supervision and Jeffery Yombon, Manager in charge of Research with BPNG spoke on the regulatory and supervisory function of the central bank. The managers lectured on the its supervisory roles in managing the licensed financial institutions, the superfunds and insurance industry and prudent management of inflation. The sessions also forged a partnership between CEFI and BPNG with UPNG banking and finance department to support the students’ exposure and network with the banking and finance sector. The were invited by CEFI to attend the launch of country’s first online Microfinance Digital Course for microfinance professionals on Friday 03 September.

Port Moresby North West signs training partnership with CEFI

CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe and Member for Port Moresby North-West (PMNW) Hon. Lohia Boe Samuel signed the partnership on September 02 to deliver Financial Literacy Training for 10,000 women in PMNW electorate. The modality of training will be delivered through CEFI’s training-of-trainers program for 100 MNW trainers who will then deliver the financial literacy training to 5 wards in the electorate to reach 10,000 women. The objective is to equip women of PMNW to be self-reliant with improved money management skills so they can administer and handle their household budget and also have the know-how to apply for Micro and SME Loans from licensed financial institutions. “In the long term, we plan on setting up incubation hubs that will support our women to sell their products and services, with additional training, mentoring, business upskilling and aiding them to market and promote their products.” Hon. Samuel stated. CEFI Executive Director Saliya Ranasinghe states, the MoU signed is the first step to improving access for women to formal financial institutions and training. “Having access to a bank account is the first fundamental step in preparing our women to be financially empowered. This is part of the broader financial inclusive strategy promoted by the CEFI and the National Government and I am elated that Honourable MP Lohia Boe Samuel and his office fully supports this national endeavour.” Mr Ranasinghe said.

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