With the emergence of offshore exploration and production activities in Guyana, more Guyanese have been positioning themselves to benefit from growing business opportunities in the country with one such individual making it clear; “It’s a great time to be a woman entrepreneur in Guyana.”
Alana DaSilva is the Owner and Managing Director of Dan Logistics, a logistics support company offering a range of services across the various sectors that is especially targeting the newest industry in the South American country.
“I started the company in July 2019 to provide Logistical Support Services across sectors in Guyana and particularly within the oil and gas sector,” she told OilNOW. “The reason why I started it was because, importantly, I saw that there was a need for additional providers of logistical support services in Guyana and I have the requisite experience and qualifications to supply some of the services, so I thought why not?”
The services being offered by Dan Logistics include data management, teaching small businesses electronic filing and organization, event planning and event management and business support services.
DaSilva has over eight years of work experience in these areas; and while there are a number of businesses offering such services, she is taking her service a step further by utilising current technologies to increase the opportunities and visibility of her clients.
Dan Logistics is currently involved in a Google Mapping project. Google Maps is a Global Positioning System (GPS) that offers satellite imagery, aerial photography, street maps, interactive panoramic views of streets, real-time traffic conditions, and route planning for traveling by foot, car, bicycle and air, or public transportation.
“This is essential for Guyana because the Google Map is used in North America and throughout the world to help businesses and the general public or internet users to easily navigate the internet to easily find places, businesses, services, products within the area,” she pointed out, noting that this is particularly useful for persons travelling to a new destination or coming to live and work in Guyana for a period. “The best place usually is to go to Google Maps and try to find businesses and services that you’re looking for.”
While the service is advanced and very organised in North America, she said the same cannot be said for Guyana.
“Based on our assessment, 95 percent of businesses in Guyana are not accurately positioned on the map and the company information is not up to date. A lot of businesses are not managing their profile on the Google map,” she disclosed, noting that Google Maps provides a platform for free advertising that businesses can readily access but do not.
The entrepreneur went on to share, “I am working with a team that is trying to convince businesses to claim their businesses and to ensure they take advantage of the services that are offered on the Google Map and potentially gain more customers, widen their audience, attract international and local base that they wouldn’t normally attract because of not being present on the map.”
Her team consists of I.T Professionals working on the google mapping project to ensure the company provides professional services and the best possible experience for their clients.
As part of efforts to build capacity, DaSilva said she has been benefiting from the Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) training being offered by the Center for Local Business Development (CLBD) and will be working with CLBD going forward to develop a health and safety plan for her business. “…because apart from working online, we are also going to be working on the ground doing some GPS work and some navigational work to supply information to the map. So, that would require some Health and Safety procedures.”
She noted that the oil and gas sector has provided a great opportunity for women entrepreneurs in Guyana. “It’s a great time to be a woman entrepreneur in Guyana today. Within the oil and gas industry, even though women are underrepresented in the industry, I do believe that if we work together and collaborate and share knowledge and experiences, we will be able to bring other women entrepreneurs onboard and to support the industry at our full capacity,” she said, emphasising that businesses should collaborate and partner to better position themselves to benefit from the opportunities.
“I don’t see a need to compete with other women entrepreneurs or even to compete with male entrepreneurs but I see opportunities for partnerships, engagements, collaborations and working together to build the industry rather than competing against each other,” DaSilva said.