Social Enterprise Supermarkets 

Viable supermarkets in Papua New Guinea creating jobs for at-risk young people and funds for projects.

What it is About:

Our supermarkets will sell produce from the micro-enterprise businesses started by our trainees.

Mustard Seed Global plans to establish a competitive Social Enterprise Supermarket (SES) in every major centre in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The SES Concept: Each supermarket (managed by a manager with experience and success managing supermarkets in PNG to ensure financial viability) will offer a one-stop store for all grocery needs at low prices as well as the following ongoing benefits for the community: a jobs program aimed at young people who have dropped out of school and face a future of poverty, crime and suffering without help; ALL profit directed to projects which relieve poverty, distress and disadvantage; innovative, healthy and ridiculously affordable fast food; and community-building activities and programs aimed at the most disadvantaged. Carefully selected young people who have dropped out of school and/or are entangled in correctional facilities for doing crime will be offered a paid traineeship to work at the supermarket.

The traineeship will prepare them for either:

  1. Entry-level jobs with project partners from the government and corporate sectors.
  2. Specific vocational training (eg. forklift driving, welding etc).
  3. An income-generating micro-enterprise project (eg. fish farming, and the supermarket would buy back the fish to sell).
  4. Church planting.

The traineeship involves personal development and involvement in a Christian church community that will be established in each supermarket. All profits from the supermarkets will be directed to publicised community projects aimed at helping those most in need such as: a mobile HIV-AIDS clinic, a water purification system for villages living in poverty, equipment for a tutoring centre for disadvantaged children, scholarships to cover school fees for poor families, a refuge for women at risk from domestic violence, food and shelter for victims of a natural disaster etc. The traineeship and community investment projects will form the marketing platform for the supermarkets: “Buy here and invest in your own community”.


The start-up capital for our first Social Enterprise Supermarket is $A600,000 (PNG Kina 1.42m).

Why it is Important:

The PNG Liquefied Natural Gas project produces 7.4 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas a year.

PNG is experiencing a resources boom, but there is little improvement in basic services (like health and education) or employment opportunities. As long as the current levels of corruption remain this is unlikely to change.

Also, most young people in PNG drop out of school early or don’t go to school at all! There are high drop-out rates because poor families struggle to cover the cost of school fees, books and transport. Also, places are limited in higher grades. According to the PNG Department of Education, in 2008 only 24% of students who sat the Year 10 exam were offered places in Year 11. At the end of 2016 education and health budget allocations to church-based schools and hospitals (which provide a large % of health and education services – particularly in rural areas) was cut by 50%.  A lack of education means a lack of employment. Without paid employment young people experience hunger, frustration, boredom, hopelessness and low self-esteem. Many want to escape the traditional village life for the benefits of development, but cannot survive in the city and become high-risk for HIV, drugs and crime. Juvenile crime and violence is a big issue in PNG.

Each Social Enterprise Supermarket will: 

  1. Bridge young people who have dropped out of school into paying jobs.
  2. Provide in-store community-building programs for those most in need and a free monthly meal for the poor.
  3. Offer innovative, healthy, affordable fast food using local ingredients.
  4. Sell viable products produced by poor rural people unable to find a market for their goods.
  5. Direct ALL profits to projects which relieve distress and poverty.
  6. Plant a church in every store to encourage personal/spiritual growth in trainees and others.
  7. Challenge corruption by modelling generosity and Christ’s love.
We are now looking for E-Sponsors who will donate $1,000 or more and enable an amazing project.