Close to 160 become business owners through SLED Initiative
Close one hundred and sixty young entrepreneurs are getting a boost in their business ventures after graduating from the Government of Guyana’s Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurship Development (SLED) programme.
It has provided training, mentorship, business development skills and start-up grants to individuals and groups.
According to the Ministry of the Presidency, the SLED programme, which is being implemented through the Ministry of Communities, is designed to provide support for the expansion of the local economy in communities across Guyana and assist micro, small and medium-scale enterprises.
It is also part of President David Granger’s two-pronged approach to stimulating youth employment.
On Monday, close to 160 youths, some of whom found themselves on the wrong side of the law graduated from the programme and are now proud business owners.
99 youths were trained under the US Embassy’s SKYE programme and received start-up financing for their businesses in the sum of $22.2M.
Additionally, several groups benefitted from the programme, including the Women for Change with some $3.4M; and For the Children’s Sake Foundation with $5.9M, among others.
Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan disclosed that the total amount of money disbursed to these groups is approximately $76.5M with individual grants ranging between $3M and $20M.
He added that in the medium term this investment will create about 200 jobs and praised President Granger for championing this cause, even while he sat on the opposition bench.
The Minister said the SLED initiative focuses on Community groups that meet the very vulnerable in society.
Meanwhile, President David Granger delivering the feature address said the SLED Initiative is part of a programme that reinforces the administration’s efforts to stimulate economic development in communities, especially at the grass root level.
Granger contends that no one can doubt the government’s commitment to ensuring ‘a good life for all’ through education, employment and enterprise, pointing to several other initiatives such as Linden Enterprise Network (LEN) programme and the Hinterland Employment Youth Service (HEYS).
US ambassador Perry Holloway was also present at the event and noted that it will complement the SKYE programme.