A GROUP of young people in the town of Linden, being cognizant of the high unemployment rate and the unavailability of tertiary institutions and business investments, has created a non-profit organization to assist Linden residents in this regard.
Calling themselves Linden Youth Leaders (LYL), these youngsters intend to officially launch their group on October 17. According to Vice President Esther Innis, the LYL aims to transform the Linden community by empowering youths to establish their own businesses, upgrading their education and transform their communities.
Motivated and supported by Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland, the youths are also organizing an investment forum which is slated for October 18-19.
The main feature of the forum is the launch of a $10M programme which would see 100 Linden youths each benefiting from grants of $100,000 to commence their own small business. After participating in a one-month training programme in small business management and financial literacy, the youths will be given the grant; and, with continuous mentorship, will be owners of their very own businesses.
The investment forum will feature top ranking national investors and businesses such as Gafoors, Toolsie Persaud Ltd and Demerara Distillers Limited. Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin, and President of the Linden Chamber of Commerce, Kevin De Younge, are expected to speak at the event.
The target group for this forum comprises the unemployed youths and secondary school students who will graduate soon.
According to Innis, Linden is ripe for investment. “The private sector should invest in the community, moreso the youths of Linden, because they are skillful. Linden provides cheap electricity, land is very accessible, and there are a number of facilities to accommodate workers,” she posited.
First vice president of the organization, Lynndon Lamott, has taken a leap of faith and recently invested in a movie theatre and entertainment hub called Paradise Entertainment. Lamott, a pilot by profession, said: “I wanted to give the people of Linden the opportunity to enjoy the same amenities that many other people worldwide enjoy.”
The 27-year-old who was born and raised in Linden now lives and works abroad as a pilot, but returned to his hometown to invest in its development, and is encouraging others to do likewise.
Vice President Esther Innis is also of the opinion that the Government of Guyana should play an integral role in providing investment opportunities for Linden youths, and open avenues for enterprises. “Currently, there is a serious youth unemployment dilemma on hand in Linden, because students leaving school and training institutions are not getting jobs, (and they) lack the skills and expertise to create their own stream of business. If the Government invests jointly, at least private investors will not be afraid to invest in manufacturing and agricultural sectors of the Linden community,” she opined.
Linden Mayor Carwyn Holland is the overall overseer of the organization, and is pushing for youths who are academically inclined to benefit from scholarships. “I am on a drive to motivate our young Lindeners to aspire to higher heights: to become entrepreneurs, to be inventive, serve your community, to be good leaders, and to work hard to achieve great things,” he said.
He will be soliciting funding from established corporations both locally and internationally to fund the initiatives of the Linden Youth Leaders.