Saturday, September 18, 2021

Women-led businesses in Guyana determined to tap into growing economic opportunities

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The economic transition being forecast for Guyana is bringing with it significant prospects and women entrepreneurs in the new oil producing country are determined to ensure they are well positioned to benefit from these opportunities.

The Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry Guyana (WCCIG) announced on Monday that it is partnering with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) through Arizona State University (Thunderbird School of Business) – the executing agency, to implement the We3A program in the country.

We3A seeks to promote the growth and resilience of women-led/owned Small and Medium-sized Enterprises SMEs (WSMEs), with a special focus on WSMEs that are tapping into value chains and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math)-based WSMEs.

The WCCIG said it believes that partnerships especially in this time of transformation will help women-owned businesses to pivot to their greatest potential, thus creating financial independence, stronger families and better communities.

“This project could not have happened at a more opportune and critical time,” said Kerri Gravesande-Bart, President and Co-Creator of WCCIG. “…We have witnessed many women engineered their start-up during the pandemic, which created income to sustain many families.”

She said this is why the We3A program – improving access to value chains especially for women entrepreneurs – is key to their success and survivability, as they strive for further growth and business continuity.

The WCCIG will play a key role as the local platform to realize We3A’s three main components; Aspire, Activate and Accelerate. Aspire will use storytelling to highlight positives of women’s entrepreneurship. Activate will employ digital means to engage WSMEs while increasing the capacity of local partners who will have long-term access to the digital resources. Accelerate will provide accelerator experience and buyer match-making opportunities for WSMEs ready to integrate into value chains.

Lyndell Danzie-Black, WCCIG Vice Chairman and Co- Founder, said, “Today I am particularly happy as one of our goals of helping women start and grow their businesses towards economic independence will be realized through the We3A project.”

She said this is why the We3A program – improving access to value chains especially for women entrepreneurs – is key to their success and survivability, as they strive for further growth and business continuity.

“We encourage women throughout Guyana to join us in creating equitable platforms for our development. We thank the IDB Guyana Country Representative and her dedicated team who worked with us on achieving our goals. We look forward to working with the Thunderbird School of Business as together we aspire to a limitless future for all women and girls,” Danzie-Black said.

Just recently, the Centre for Local Business Development launched its ‘Accelerate Her’ and the ‘Cherie Blair Foundation for Women – Road to Growth’ programmes which are geared towards building the capacity and marketability of women-led businesses in Guyana. Director of the Centre, Dr. Natasha Gaskin- Peters, told reporters the two initiatives are being launched under the banner of the organisation’s ‘Women’s Entrepreneurship Programme.’

The South American country, now one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is poised to go through a major economic transformation from the multi-billion-barrel oil and gas resources ExxonMobil has found offshore and is developing.

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