CLBD rolls out two new programmes for women entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses


The Centre for Local Business Development (CLBD) on Thursday launched two women entrepreneurship programmes – Accelerate-Her and Road to Growth – one of which is sponsored by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women.

The programmes offer a range of business coaching, training and peer mentorship.

Director of the CLBD, Natasha Gaskin-Peters told the News Room that the Accelerate-Her programme is funded through the Greater Guyana Initiative while the Road to Growth programme is funded by the ExxonMobil Foundation.

“These programmes will target women entrepreneurs, it’s going to build their capacity through training, coaching and mentoring of these female entrepreneurs,” Gaskin-Peters said.

She explained that the programmes, although limited, are open to women in all sectors including agricultural and tourism.

“It is broad-based and thinking about women development in business,” she added.

Gaskin-Peters said that because of the special needs that women have with many of their businesses remaining relatively small the programmes were conceptualised to help them penetrate core sectors.

“We wanted to lend a special support to these women so we can ensure we couch them and mentor them to grow their business… some looking to expand into other sectors and some looking to export,” she added.

The criteria for applying specifically states that it must be a Guyanese own women entity. Women who co-own businesses with their male partners are also encouraged to apply.

The business must also be one year in operation and legally registered with at least two employees. Applications can be filled out on the website of CLBD. Call for applications are open until until August 13, 2021.

Apart from training, coaching and mentorship, the programmes deal with helping these business to access finance to grow their business. Participants will also get help with their business plans.

In the first instance, with an intent to continue the programmes in following years, there will be a total of 35 companies accepted for the Accelerate-Her and 25 participants for Road to Growth.

All programmes are provided free of charge to the participants.

“It is really about building their business capacity and helping them to grow in whatever sector that they may be in… it’s all about inclusive economic growth,” the CLBD Head added.

The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Road to Growth programme is a highly successful, seven week programme for women entrepreneurs looking to take their existing businesses to the next level.

Road to Growth uses a ‘blended learning’ approach, which combines in-class training with a unique, custom-built online learning tool. It is a business management and investment readiness programme for women entrepreneurs delivered by expert in-country partners carefully selected by the Foundation.

The Centre‘s Accelerate-Her targets local women owners, operators, and managers to build the leadership and business skills of women entrepreneurs to help them grow companies across a wide variety of industries and sectors.

The programme is designed to enable the acceleration of local small businesses through tailored workshops, access to one-on-one business advisory and mentors, pitch development, and fostering a strong and supportive peer-learning environment for women.

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