A number of young entrepreneurs have been awarded grants to develop their businesses. Their business ideas were pitched during the Guyana Youth Business Summit which was held in May at the Pegasus Hotel. There, the young entrepreneurs, from across the 10 Administrative Regions, were given the opportunity to engage in discussions on starting and developing their businesses.
During the Summit, 11 participants were selected for grant funding to develop their proposed businesses. Moreover, the Ministry of the Presidency, Department of Youth, on Friday conducted a simple to formally hand over the grants.
During the handing over ceremony, the recipients lauded the administration’s drive to develop and sustain an environment which fosters initiatives to target youth development in various sectors.
Ishabeth and Michael Sinclair, both residents of Region Six are young entrepreneurs under the age of 30. They expressed appreciation not only for the grant to further develop their business but also for the Leadership Training which they received through the Department of Youth. The Sinclairs are the founders and owners of M and I Business Enterprise, an agro-processing business which produces, cake-mix, pepper sauce and a variety of spices which are already on the shelves of leading supermarkets.
“The company is growing- right now, we are looking to expand. We plan to add another piece of equipment to the current operation and complete the construction of the facility which houses the operation with this grant,” Ishabeth Sinclair said.
She added, “This company is not only for us; it is for the development of our community as well. As the company grows, we will be able to employ more persons; we are currently only able to employ two.”
Jewel Collier-Swan, along with three colleagues, are currently operating at Hubu, Parika, East Bank Essequibo. She also discussed their venture and the benefits the grant will bring to its development. “This business is basically a start-up; although we were all involved in some aspect of farming prior to this. The focus right now is cassava and adding-value to the product through the manufacturing process. We have started producing cassava flour under the brand ‘Guyana’s Own’; and we have prospects of diversifying our product line. Cassava is a product which can be converted to so many end products, and this grant will assist in the process,” explained Collier-Swan.
Another recipient, Vanita Savory, also expressed gratitude and disclosed that the grant will assist in the construction of a facility to house her venture. She has hopes of introducing fresh mushrooms to the Guyanese market.
Meanwhile, Ms. Leslyn Boyce, Assistant Director of Youth, who is currently acting in the capacity of Director of Youth, pledged continued support to the development and empowerment of youth on behalf of the Government of Guyana, through the Department of Youth. “This Department will continue to provide you with the skills and resources to develop yourselves as individuals and empower you to make meaningful contributions to your communities,” she said.