GOVERNMENT of Guyana will enforce a requirement to ensure that at least 20 per cent of public contracts are awarded to small businesses. This will ensure a level playing field in bidding for Government contracts.
This was stated by Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, as he delivered the Government’s 2017 National Budget, valued at $250B on Monday in the National Assembly.
Minister Jordan said the Government’s interventions towards the promotion of a healthier and more diverse business environment not only focus on companies and firms, but also on the empowerment of individuals and the facilitation of small and micro-enterprises, while expanding existing programmes aimed at fostering youth entrepreneurship.
The management of industrial estates will be centralised under the Ministry of Business, and this is expected to result in more effective monitoring and appropriate zoning in 2017. The Finance Minister said that focus will also be placed on analysing the outputs of the occupants of the industrial estates, to ensure greater value-added production and achievement of job-creation targets.
An initial sum of $95M has been set aside for the establishment of two business incubators to be placed at the Belvedere and Lethem Industrial Estates.
The Finance Minister said that to reinforce and continue to promote economic structure, the Ministry of Business has launched its 2015-2020 Strategic Action Plan, which focuses on improving the ease of doing business; attracting increased foreign investment; supporting the development and export of value-added industries; increasing economic opportunities for, and capabilities of, vulnerable groups; and increasing capacity to develop and promote sustainable business-friendly policies.
Minister Jordan said the establishment and growth of small and micro-enterprises would continue to be supported through a suite of programmes, including the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED), which provides business grants and training for vulnerable groups. Additionally, the Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED) project will continue with its financing and training and development activities, targeting a prospective 660 clients. The Small Business Bureau (SBB) will be extending its reach into educational institutions, to expose students to entrepreneurial initiatives and skills. This new venture would include a competition which will see at least 10 students receiving grants to start their own business, Jordan explained to the National Assembly.