A new batch of women entrepreneurs embarked on the second iteration of the Centre for Local Business Development’s women entrepreneurship program called AccelerateHer on Friday evening at the Pegasus Hotel in Georgetown.
More than 130 women owners, operators and managers from seven administrative regions applied to participate in the cutting-edge programme, hoping to build leadership and business skills to grow their companies. 35 of them were shortlisted for the first Phase, the Weekend Bootcamp. It is a three-day Camp that the Centre says will allow the participants to learn from peer and mentor connections, brainstorming for growth, practicing business pitches and building business model canvases.
Director of the Centre, Dr. Natasha Gaskin-Peters said, “Over the next three days, the participants will learn how to map out their business structure in the current and future business state, skills on how to pitch and network, and be guided by experienced mentors in the business industry. We (the Centre team) are ready to kick off Accelerate-Her 2.0 with this Weekend Bootcamp and be a part of the growth of the women in this room here.”
It is expected that 15 will be shortlisted for the second Phase.
The complete programme takes small businesses through tailored workshops, access to one-on-one mentoring, and a supportive peer-learning environment for women.
Joy Hart-Sjoberg, the owner of Nice Touch Spa, who participated in the 2021 programme, delivered a testimony on how much the rigorous programme matured her as an entrepreneur.
The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG) are supporters of AccelerateHer.
Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud encouraged continued resilience from the women leaders.
“If you’re being drilled, take it.” Dr. Persaud said.
WCCIG President, Rowena Elliot said the programme will take participants on a journey that will transform their businesses.
She said, “Keep the positivity and walk into the bootcamp tomorrow with an open mind…”
Natina Vijay-Singh, Inbound Logistics Supervisor at ExxonMobil Guyana, expressed in her remarks that it is refreshing to know that there are business development programmes targeted at women, such as AccelerateHer and the Women’s Innovation and Investment Network launched by Dr. Persaud’s Ministry last year.
AccelerateHer is financially supported by the Greater Guyana Initiative (GGI), a US$100 million project to expand capacity building efforts and promote sustainable economic development in Guyana. GGI is fully funded and supported by ExxonMobil Guyana and co-venturers Hess Corporation and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Limited (CPGL).