Georgetown, Guyana – (September 18, 2017) Thirty stakeholders who hail from Charlestown, Albouystown, Guyhoc Park and other communities in South Georgetown, today, assembled at the Headquarters of the National Congress of Women located at Public Road, Kitty to participate in the 19th Self Reliance and Success in Business workshop.
Delivering opening remarks, Regional Councillor- Region Four, Ms. Shondel Hope said that she has no doubt that at the close of the five-day session, the participants will become more self-reliant and knowledgeable about entrepreneurship. “Self-Reliance is defined as the ability to think and act without the help or influence of others and the ability to decide what you should and should not do. I have not doubt that very soon, this workshop will help you recognise how important and vital self-reliance is for you to be able to successfully govern your life and that of your families,” she said.

Ms. Hope further urged the participants to embrace President David Granger’s vision to become empowered, independent thinkers and entrepreneurs. “We…want you to use these words [spoken] by the President as your mantra as you go through this week and beyond. We also urge you to capitalise on the training being offered,” she said.

Facilitator at Interweave Solutions (Guyana) Incorporated Mr. Sanjay Pooran, expressed similar sentiments and noted that the workshop has empowered and changed the lives of several women, and some men, across the country. “Self-reliance is true freedom and true freedom is interdependence,” he said. Mr. Pooran also said that the ultimate goal of the workshop is to start a trainer of trainers programme, where graduates from all of the workshops countrywide are, with the help of his organisation, trained to become trainers in their regions.

Meanwhile, several of the participants expressed the hope that the workshop will improve their abilities to grow or start their own businesses. Ms. Shaunda Yarde, business-owner of the small manufacturing company, Coconut Grove, said that she hopes to acquire skills that would help her to better manage her finances and to help her to create a better work/life balance. “I need to provide for myself and ensure that I’m fully equipped to do [so]. I take all opportunities that come my way to …learn how to deal with the finances. I’m very bad at dealing with the finances in my business so I’m hoping that I get to learn something like that,” she said.

Mr. Ian Thorne of South Ruimveldt, the owner of P and I (Positive Inspiration) Distribution, said that he hopes that the sessions will equip him with the skills necessary to expand his business. “I need to learn, I don’t know much about business… I want to start expanding to other areas… I believe this [workshop] will help me further in the understanding of business, especially the financing of business,” he said. Mr. Thorne also said that he hopes to contribute to his community’s development by providing employment. “My business can allow me to, at least, hire three young persons. I want to grow by hiring and training three young persons, so that I can retire at 50,” he added.

Ms. Mariam Sherriff of Middle Road, La Penitence, Side-line Dam, said that at the close of the workshop she hopes to obtain “a certificate of experience and knowledge” that will help her to create a business that will eventually become an inheritance for her children. “I would like to start a business so that my children would follow along, so [that] they could achieve for themselves a business that they could be self-employed and they could help themselves and others,” she said.

The workshop was chaired by Lieutenant Colonel (ret’d) Yvonne Smith. Facilitator of at Interweave Solutions (Guyana) Incorporated Ms. Crystal Baptiste, also attended the workshop.

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