12 entrepreneurs get $1M grant from Small Business Bureau


Twelve entrepreneurs who submitted viable proposals to the Small Business Bureau (SBB) on Tuesday received a grant of $1 million each as part of its ‘Green Business Technology Fund’.

The fund was coined in an effort to improve local environmentally sustainable, creative, and innovative businesses and also for successful entrepreneurs to develop and expand activities critical to the development of green business ideas and solutions.

This includes market research, product development and testing, software development, and the development of new business processes.

Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Oneigde Waldron in her feature remarks to the recipients noted that while entrepreneurship is sometimes a hard feat, they need to persevere through the challenges to ensure success.

“There is a passion and a drive that is on fire and we applaud it,” Minister Waldron remarked.

“You must not forget what you are passionate about and I just wanted to urge you to not give up, keep pushing, and you will see success.”

The Tourism Minister lauded the ‘Green Business Technology Fund’ noting that it plays a vital role in the fight against global warming and climate change.

In this regard, she stated that everyone has an integral role to play in mitigating the effects of the global phenomenon as Guyana continues efforts with the Low Carbon Development Strategy.

“You may recall that this strategy seeks to integrate the preservation of the environment into all of our national development efforts and for us to do our part and make our contribution to the fight against climate change, we must begin to insert sustainable features in all aspects of our life and business practices,” the minister noted.

But for this to happen, it requires considerable thought, innovation, creativity, and in many cases funding and for that reason, the government has thrown its support being the project.

“The government wants to encourage the development of business ideas and models that align with the low carbon development strategies.

“The green technology fund is evidence of our commitment as a partner with you in this effort through funding, training and business support to ensure that those ideas come to fruition,” Minister Oneidge outlined.

The top three recipients of the grant shared with those gathered a preview into what they have in store.

There was Lemuel Williams of LTech who plans to develop a Global Positioning System (GPS) that can be operated without internet access as a means to prevent carjackings.

He indicated the grant will be used to create a prototype of the GPS.

Neuhru Narine of N.M Proficient Contracting Services plans on developing portable kitchen gardens to improve Guyana’s food security.

He explained that because Guyana is prone to flooding, the project will ease the financial pressures farmers face when the rainy season hits.

And lastly, Tasmin Pellew of Taz Foods specializes in MRE’s or ‘Meals Ready to Eat’ as used by the military. She produces packets of dehydrated meals including Guyanese delicacies such as cook-up that can be utilized for persons who are on the good and too busy to cook a meal.

She said that her grant will be used to push her products to a bigger market.

Meanwhile, the general criteria for the Green Business Technology Fund outline that applicants must have a new idea that presents a solution to a challenge or need or innovation which improves a product or the delivery of a service.

The solution must include the use of either: a software application, the development of a prototype and or the use of green energy. It can also be a start-up or existing business venture, which fits the profile of a ‘small business’ as defined by the Small Business Act of 2004.

The proposals for the $1 million grant should consist of a document of no more than 20 pages and include the idea/innovation along with images or prototype drawings or links.

For existing businesses interested in the programme, they will be required to submit records of past financial performance, registration and other relevant business documentation. A development plan for the solution, implementation strategy and outreach strategy will also be required.

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