Spotlight on PNG Women in Social Impact: BILUMS AND BASKETS

: an interview by Hibiscus Three with Maggie Timbi


Many thanks to the #hibiscusthreecommunity for the readership, and sharing of the Spotlight in PNG Women in Social Impact series that we've been running as part of week-long celebrations for International Women's Day 2022. One small but significant step to #BreakTheBias is to elevate and promote the important, terrific work by Papua New Guinean women involved in social entrepreneurship to positively impact nation building of PNG.


Continuing with our series today, we caught up with Maggie Timbi of Bilums and Baskets to learn more about venture's efforts of social impact in Papua New Guinea:


Hibiscus Three: What social issue(s) in PNG have you identified for your business to focus on addressing?


Maggie Timbi: Our core focus is to provide a source of income for the ‘Artisan Weavers’ and the families that they are part of which enables them to access health, education and being able to pay for their day-to-day needs.




HT: Is there an initiative that your business has implemented to respond to this social issue, and can you briefly describe this initiative?


MT: I started ‘Project 2 Mile’ with an aim to help marginalised women who live in the squatter settlements of Port Moresby.


We provide acrylic and wool yarn from Australia, and they weave them into colourful multi-patterned bilums. We have a total of over 20 weavers who live in various squatter settlements around the city of Port Moresby.





At the moment, we have four people on the ground in Port Moresby who manage this project.




HT: What is your motivation?


MT: I started my business to help Papua New Guineans generate some form of additional revenue to help themselves.


I believe that every human is part of something bigger than ‘themselves’ and each one of us can make a difference and have a positive impact on others.



I have few Papua New Guineans and other wonderful friends that are not Papua New Guineans who ask me the right questions and help me see things that I miss.


HT: What previous experience and/or skills do you have that you bring to your operating your business?


MT: I have no prior experience in any social impact projects, this is my first. My profession is in the analytics space within the finance industry, and I think the skills and experience through my profession does help with running my business.


HT: Through your business’ efforts, what does social impact in PNG look like to you?


MT:

  • Empowering women to use their talents to generate income

  • It creates opportunities for the underprivileged

  • It reduces poverty

HT: Are you open to the idea of collaboration with other businesses or individuals to expand/accelerate your business efforts?


MT: I am open to the idea of collaboration but have not formed any yet. I am currently exploring ideas with few people.






HT: In achieving your goals for social impact, what is one challenge that your business is currently faced with and how are you navigating this?


MT: One main challenge I am constantly faced with is ‘Time’. I still have my full-time job and this is something I am doing intermittently.


HT: Where can the Hibiscus Three community and readers support your business’ vision to addressing social impact ?


MT:

Website – www.bilumsandbaskets.com.au

Instagram - @bilumsandbaskets

Facebook Page – BilumsAndBaskets

Markets – Carseldine Farmers Market




(all images courtesy of @bilumsandbaskets on instagram)

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