Some exciting news to kick off ABV’s 40th anniversary year: The Apeketon Business Hub (ABH) is re-opening for business! Henry Ume-Taule, ABV’s Senior Program Manager, was able to return to Lihir in November after the 2020 shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During his visit he opened up the Hub to existing clients so that they could drop by for help with ideas and proposals, and to prospective clients seeking information about the ABH project.

Henry found that there was anticipation for the project to recommence. He has drafted a program for 2021, which includes Your Enterprise Scheme (YES) and Better Business Governance (BBG) training programs. These programs will continue to increase the capability of Lihir businesses and to encourage new businesses to launch.

Henry has also programmed the delivery of the foundational Family Money Management Program (FMMP). Much interest has been generated among the communities and Newcrest staff, which means a number of training sessions will be run.

We are also exploring with Newcrest to relocate the Hub to a more conspicuous and accessible point. Furthermore, as our client base grows, there is increasing need to resource the Hub with computers, printers and internet access, as well as having more space to be able to meet and discuss concerns more comfortably and privately.

Henry will return to Lihir in April 2021 and in the meantime, will be conducting a situational analysis across New Ireland Province to gauge what existing businesses and emerging business ideas exist that will allow ABV to support non-mine related business development.

With the work of the project over the past almost two years, notwithstanding the hiatus caused by the pandemic, Newcrest and ABV have observed the level of increased awareness and enthusiasm among Lihirians to seize the opportunity that the project provides in order to plan for a sustainable future.

The great news is that there are opportunities for our Skilled Business Professionals to get involved again! As well as starting to plan for SBPs to offer training later in the year, we are also adjusting to the new normal, dictated by COVID-19, by offering remote mentoring to those clients on pathways to improve their existing businesses or establish new ones.

If you are interested, be sure to let us know by emailing recruitment@abv.org.au. And if you are not already registered, please do so here.

Australian Business Volunteers