Georgetown, Guyana – (September 15, 2017) Minister within the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Ms. Annette Ferguson, today, commended the 42 graduates from First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger’s 18th Self Reliance and Success in Business Workshop, noting that in addition to becoming empowered, they have now become agents of change who have been given the tools, which can be used to transform their personal lives and make a difference in their homes and communities. Thirty-nine women and three men graduated from the workshop, which was hosted at the National Congress of Women’s Headquarters at Public Road, Kitty.

Minister Ferguson said that the workshop complements President David Granger’s vision for creating a good life for all Guyana, which is reflected in the national budget. “I must be honest to say that the macro policies of the Government can take a little long to generate tangible benefits for citizens at the micro or the community level. Therefore, workshops such as these work well in delivering change where it is most needed at the small business, the home, and by extension the community levels”.

She commended the First Lady for working with women, in particular, across Guyana to ensure that they are trained and equipped with a marketable certificate, which will help them to become self-reliant and successful, noting that “the unempowered woman may be a vulnerable woman in today’s society”. The minister noted that “It is no secret, but public knowledge that domestic violence is a problem in our country and sometimes us, we, women are victims of abuse because of …economic circumstances as [we] have no other means of income or means of earning. But today, you women… and men… are empowered to improve your economic status. You are also empowered to make a change, firstly, in your personal life and secondarily in your home and community and finally, in our beautiful country Guyana.”

Meanwhile, Facilitator at Interweave Solutions (Guyana) Incorporated, Mr. Sanjay Yohann Pooran said that to date, 636 persons have been trained throughout the country. “I cannot overemphasise the importance of that. In the context of the national economy you’re talking about 600 plus potential new entrepreneurs, who are going into the formal economy, making a contribution to our country’s development. You have small business owners who will grow and expand their businesses, employing additional Guyanese, again, citizens who are going to become taxpayers contributing to the formal economy,” he said. The graduates were also exposed to training which helped them to improve their personal lives through the Quality of Life Action Plan and the Community Action Plan as it aimed to promote a holistic approach to development.

Several of the graduates expressed gratitude to the First Lady for providing them with the opportunity to participate in the workshop. Ms. Marcia Da Costa said that the skills that she learnt at the workshop will help her to better manage and promote her business, Bella Oasis Skin and Body Care Salon, which offers a wide range of beauty treatments using innovative techniques. “I feel extremely privileged to have been a part of this Self Reliance and Success in Business workshop. From the beginning to the end was just sheer knowledge for me. I was … enlightened about how to manage my business with the ‘Six Ps’ and from then on in my mind those ‘Six Ps’ became the pillars on which I can build and grow my business,” she said.

Similarly, Ms. Vonetta Bourne-Willis said the skills that were taught in the Workshop will lead to the development of small enterprises and enhance communities. “We the participants have built on our foundation of basic skills and we are now ready to take on the world of business from a whole new perspective,” she said.

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