A new business incubator and mobile app have been launched to help propel women-led entrepreneurship, as part of efforts to empower women and ensure that they can provide for themselves and their families while contributing to Guyana’s development.
The incubator and app were both launched on Monday morning at the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute at Cove and John, East Coast of Demerara.
This incubator comes as an extension to the efforts made by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security through its Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) programme.
Through this WIIN programme, a number of women and some men were able to benefit from professional development and skills training in a number of areas.
“We have seen a lot of innovative projects from some of these women,” Dr. Vindhya Persaud, the Minister of Human Services and Social Security, said at the incubator’s launch on Monday.
“It is not only about the training and the women, what next? Do you train them and leave them? Absolutely not.”
As such, the incubator was conceptualised and created.
This incubator, she explained, will allow any woman to gain assistance in starting up their business, deal with the quality control of their products and benefit from “practical help” in other areas.
Importantly, too, the incubator is meant to allow women entrepreneurs to think about expanding their businesses beyond Guyana.
“… we want women to think that they are not only producing for home here in our lovely land Guyana, but for the world at large,” Dr. Persaud said.
It is for this reason that a ‘WIIN’ mobile app was also launched. This app should allow women to market their products and services.
Meanwhile, President Dr. Irfaan Ali joined the gathering and emphasised that Guyana is undergoing a great transformation that needs the participation of all its citizens. As such, he contended that such programmes are crucial for the achievement of equality and the development of women.
“Government here is trying to create a winning culture for women and something is going to happen in the economy that is going to necessitate what you are doing here,” the Head-of-State said.
According to him, Guyana’s transition and development will require increasingly sophisticated services.
“… and that is why these programmes are critical, to give you that early advantage to give you that business model, your development model (to) address these key issues and that brand that you are building is built sustainable (and) adds value,” President Ali stated.
Importantly, the President also stressed that the women must not only leverage the training and support to create businesses for themselves, but they must also think about working together and creating larger businesses that can tap into greater markets.