Georgetown, Guyana – (June 17, 2016) First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger, today, presented certificates to 26 women from the Cuyuni- Mazaruni (Region Seven) area, who graduated from the sixth Self Reliance and Success in Business Workshop.
The women were drawn from various communities from the region including Agatash, Dogg Point, Batavia, One Mile, Four Miles, West Indian Housing Scheme and Central Bartica. The workshop, which aims to empower women to become self-reliant, is being initiated through the Office of the First Lady, with support from the Ministry of Social Protection and the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs.
Mr. Wayne Barrow, Mr. Yohann Pooran and Ms. Crystal Baptiste of Interweave Solutions conducted the sessions. According to Mr. Pooran at the end of each training session, participants are empowered to manage a small business, develop small business plans, and write grant proposals, among other skills.
During her brief remarks at the closing ceremony, which was held in the Boardroom of the Regional Democratic Council office, Mrs. Granger noted that it is important for women to be able to enhance their business skills, adding that women have lots of skills that they may not recognise could be marketable.
She noted that it is always a delight to initiate and attend the closing ceremony for the workshops.
“I do believe that women are the building blocks of any society and successful women are going to strengthen that foundation even more because once you are sure and confident you are going to sure and confident in all the little things you undertake,” she said.
Mrs. Granger told the women that the experience and skills gained at the workshop, can lead to opportunities, which will only serve to develop the communities and villages. “With your experience, you can build communities because at the end of the day, what we are hoping to build are stronger, more vibrant communities and in my opinion, strong women lead communities,” the First Lady said.
One of the participants, Ms. Carol Fredericks, who delivered an overview of the workshop, noted that the programme is a timely intervention for the women of Bartica. The programme modules of the workshop were divided into 13 units and spoke particularly to planning, legality of business operation, products, marketing, quality of life plan, community action plan, personal paperwork, business paperwork, projections, promotion, process and review.
“The experience and skills will certainly boost our confidence and finance. Twenty-six women are today richer, stronger, more effective, more efficient, and productive and empowered to develop our business, communities and families,” Ms. Fredericks said.
Ms. Latoya Schultz Nurse, another one of the participants, in an invited comment, noted that the workshop will change the way business is done for her.
“I think this is a very great workshop; very timely for us now seeing that we are transitioning from a community to a town. If we apply what we have learnt here at the workshop to our businesses, I think it will be awesome and we wish more of this, not only for Bartica but throughout Guyana. Let’s empower the women. I was so empowered in this workshop, and I know when I apply these things to my business, my business will bloom,” Nurse said.
Budding entrepreneur, Ms. Luanna Ambrose, praised the initiative, noting that its impact on women cannot be underestimated. “This is a very, very important initiative and it is having and will have a great impact on the women in this country,” she noted.
First Lady, Mrs. Granger also used the opportunity to answer questions from the participants on their business plans and methods and sought to give advice on how current businesses can be expanded.
Interweave Solutions is a non-governmental organisation that helps local organisations and congregations in developing countries to determine their own destinies by providing them with the necessary training to implement and promote their own business plans.
To date, over 130 women have completed the programme and are on their way to establishing themselves as successful business people.