In recognition of World Agriculture Day 2023, !nnovate Guyana (!G), an initiative of the Guyana Economic Development Trust, has launched the third edition of its Economic Development Accelerator (EDA) programme to help local agro-processors, caterers and restaurateurs scale their businesses like never before.
This year’s programme is offering a comprehensive solution for growing micro-businesses in food and agro-processing to expand. Through funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Lab, programme participants can access training, coaching, technical support and, importantly, zero- interest, non-collateralised, recoverable grants of US$5,000 designated for micro-businesses’ working capital needs.
As a bonus, through partnerships with Guyana’s largest indigenous food retailer, Bounty Supermarkets, participating agro-processors’ products will now have extraordinary local exposure. As it relates to local agro-processor distribution, the Economic Development Accelerator programme and Bounty Supermarkets are launching the “Buy Local at Bounty” initiative, which will provide agro-processors who complete the EDA programme the opportunity for their products to be carried on the shelves of Bounty Supermarkets. In essence, the participants will access all the building blocks necessary to enhance their product’s quality and presentation, enhance their business acumen, including marketing, financial and technological skills; receive access to low-cost capital; and be provided with avenues to distribute products locally and, eventually, internationally.
“We at USAID are pleased to work with the Guyana Economic Development Trust / Economic Development Fund Inc. on this very important project. Food security is a high priority for us and we remain committed to investing in programs which will address lasting food security, address rising inequality, and promote equitable economic growth and inclusive development,” said Regional Representative for the USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Sara Walter.
The EDA programme was launched in 2021, designed to support commercially viable, existing agro-processors by preparing them for the export market.
Each year, the EDA identifies new ways to help participants scale. And each year, notable success stories emerge, some of which have been covered in Guyana’s local press.
If you are a Guyanese living in Guyana and have been operating for more than a year, with a business that is profitable in the food or agro-processing industry, apply today to access these benefits! Visit [http://www.innovateguyana.org/grow](http://www.innovateguyana.org/grow “smartCard-inline”) to apply.
Applications close on May 31, 2023.