Government, through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security’s Empowerment Fund, is investing US$ 1.2 million to help some 4,760 female entrepreneurs across the country.
The initiative is funded by the United Nation’s World Food Programme and can be accessed through the ministry’s Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN).
Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, M.P, made the announcement on this week,at WIIN’s first graduation ceremony, held at the Guyana Women’s Learning Institute, Cove and John. Some 143 graduates each received a sum of $50,000 to help launch their business ideas.
Minister Persaud said the objective of the fund is to give women an opportunity to increase their finances.
“It is our initial investment in them financially as the Government of Guyana, to empower them, to encourage them to be their own bosses, to be entrepreneurs and to give them a kickstart to starting their own business.”
Along with the business training offered by WIIN, the ministry also partnered with the Centre of Local Business Development and Women’s Chamber of Commerce to further equip women with the tools for a successful business.
Director of the Centre of Local Business Development, Dr. Natasha Gaskin, said the initiative will positively impact the economy, and the lives of women across the country.
“We must recognise the potential that our country has. The ministry, by really investing in women, has taken a positive step, because we know that the investment of women has positive spill off impact into our economy, into our homes, for children. It has positive educational benefits, positive health benefits.
The journey has now started and so let us continue to empower ourselves to go out there and to ensure that we are part of that journey that will help to build our country on a sustainable manner,” she said.
The development entity offers free programmes that assist persons to attain financial record management with the help of their software device. The new partnership with the ministry will enable persons to have engagements at the GWLI business incubator to conduct training sessions.
Recently, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce launched a dream builder programme to assist persons to streamline their ideas easily on a free online platform with 13 modules.
Vice President of the Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Latoya Jack, in her address informed that the online registration is ongoing and could be accessed on the entity’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, the budding entrepreneurs engaged with business developers, including representative of ‘Her Venture’ and Programme Policy Officer of the World Food Programme, Gonzalo Jimenez, during a sitting of the ministry business incubator.
The business incubator will assist upcoming entrepreneurs to network with other businesses to sell their items, communicate and create ideas for free.