WDI Helps PNG University Launch Entrepreneurship Major

Monday, April 8, 2019


When leaders at Pacific Adventist University (PAU), based in Papua New Guinea, wanted to add more entrepreneurship undergraduate courses last year, it turned to WDI’s Education team and its Entrepreneurship Development Center for help developing and evaluating the new curriculum. A month ago, PAU debuted its new double major in accounting and entrepreneurship.

Twenty-six students have enrolled in the first course – Principles of Entrepreneurship. PAU also is offering an entrepreneurship diploma program at its affiliate campus, Sonoma Adventist College, and has 20 students enrolled in the first course. The course is a mix of online learning and on-campus instruction.

WDI Faculty Affiliate Julie Felker has worked with the school from the start, suggesting course  offerings and providing feedback to faculty, which developed the curriculum drafts. She said the PAU faculty and administration should be lauded for their efforts.

“PAU far exceeded expectations in getting not one, but two entrepreneurship degree programs off the ground,” she said. “They really should be commended for their dedication and hard work in seeing this initiative through. (Business School) Dean Khin Maung Kyi and the faculty were personally committed to the project, and that’s why it succeeded.”

Since 2016, WDI has been supporting the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) to build capacity in entrepreneurship education at PAU and other universities in Papua New Guinea (PNG).

A long-term goal of the work in PNG is to help the country grow its small- and medium-sized business sector and diversify the economy away from reliance on mineral resources. WDI and CIPE, through its work, want to change the mindset of business school students who usually find public service jobs or traditional professions. Instead, educators want students to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in which they are employers, not employees, Felker said.

“In partnership with the William Davidson Institute, CIPE’s work to create and improve entrepreneurship curricula in PNG universities has made significant contributions in paving entrepreneurship as a viable career path to young Papua New Guineans,” said Sarah Yun, a program officer for Asia and The Pacific for CIPE. “WDI’s expertise in entrepreneurship pedagogy has been invaluable throughout this journey.”

Felker is scheduled to make two consulting trips to PNG in the near future. This summer, she will deliver a training program related to entrepreneurship to faculty and administrators at PAU and three other universities also working with CIPE and WDI. The training topic will be determined after consulting with the four universities to assess their needs and interests.

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