By Isanella Patoir
A three-day ‘business clinic’ was launched on Tuesday by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and will provide finance and business advice to women as part of efforts to make them more independent.
The clinic is open to everyone but especially to those who have completed the ministry’s Women Investment and Innovation (WIIN) programme.
Subject minister, Dr Vindhya Persaud during remarks, noted that each participant will leave the ‘clinic’ with a business proposal along with a certificate.
Representatives from the banking and financial sectors and other relevant agencies such as Action Invest, the Centre for Local Business Development, Deeds and Commercial Registry Authority, the National Insurance Scheme and the Guyana Revenue Authority, are available at the event to lend support and advice to the women.
The clinic is being held at the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute at Cove and John on the East Coast of Demerara.
Minister Persaud said the clinic is another initiative by the ministry to empower women and give them a sense of financial stability and independence.
“We have a number of agencies that will be here this morning, we have a number of banks that will work with you to let you know what documents you need, what do you require so that you can qualify for grants and funding,” Minister Persaud explained.
Dr Persaud said that the ministry is actively engaging several agencies to continue to provide this kind of support to women.
“I know once a woman in a home is financially independent, once she is empowered, that home becomes more stable because she is able to provide for her family, she is able to look after herself and she is able to fully understand her inherent potential,” Minister Persaud stated.
According to her, the business clinics are crucial for women to take the leap and start their businesses with the knowledge and skills gained from the WIIN programme.
“Whether it’s professional care, whether it’s garment construction, whether it’s graphic design, whatever you learned, what would you do with it, and this is where it gets very exciting, because it is important to look outside of the norms to find your niche in your community.”
While most women who complete the programme seek employment, Minister Persaud is challenging them to tap into their potential and be their own bosses.
“You need to think if you start your business how do you want to sustain it, because remember, we have COVID, and as the world learned that even the most successful businesses could have collapsed with the advent of COVID.”
To give the participants a head start, Minister Persaud told them to look at where they can fill gaps and create business opportunities in their communities.
“What will you want? If you’re a busy mom, what would you like to help you to make life easier?
“People are saying ‘well if we get trained in elderly care, patient care, childcare, you have to go to the job’. How many of you already take care of children? Shouldn’t you regularise it?”
Participants were also urged to take full advantage of the opportunity and were reminded to deliver and produce quality service and products when they launch their businesses.