27 businesses vie for SBB’s million-dollar fund
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Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Small Business Bureau, Dr. Lowell Porter.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Small Business Bureau, Dr. Lowell Porter.

A TOTAL of 27 businesses have submitted proposals to become possible million-dollar winners of the Green Business Technology Fund set up by the Small Business Bureau (SBB).

This was confirmed to newspaper by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SBB, Dr. Lowell Porter. The Fund, for which submissions closed on July 30, invited small start-up and existing businesses with innovative green business ideas and solutions to apply to be one of 12 lucky winners awarded up to $1 million to assist with the development of their business.

While the deadline was initially pegged at July 15, it was extended to cater for additional entries. To apply, applicants had to submit a typed business proposal of not more than 20 pages detailing their idea, a development plan of the solution, implementation strategy and outreach strategy among other criteria.

The submissions will now be reviewed and sent to a panel of judges who will further select the lucky twelve. However, applicants will be required to make an in-person pitch before the judges. The proposals will primarily be judged on innovation, strategy and potential growth to a sustainable business enterprise.

For existing businesses interested in the programme, it is expected that they also submit records of past financial performance, registration and other relevant business documentation.

“We wanted to do something that is in line with the GSDS, and the ‘greening’ of the economy. A lot of times we talk about these things but we don’t put them into action or you don’t see them happening,” Dr. Porter explained.

Meanwhile, SBB’s Marketing Officer, Shamane Headley has stated: “We have external members from the business and professional community who judge the proposals, such as business owners, CEOs and those types of persons. Every year the judges change.”

The winners will be announced within a month. Since the project started in 2017, winners have included owner of One Cart Dash, Fendel Etwaroo, and creator of bartering app “Swopp” Shemar Spencer.

Headley also noted: “The businesses that we’ve helped include online service providers, and a delivery service provider who uses modern technology. We’ve also helped agricultural business projects that employ new technology to research rice production, an online small business market place [and] a new tea company. We’ve also had agri-based businesses that incorporate modern technology to convert waste into fuel and other nutritional support for plants and so on.”

The SSB is a semi-autonomous agency established under the Ministry of Business, based on the Small Business Act of 2004. It was established in 2010, and became operational in 2013 with funding from the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), for the ‘Micro and Small Enterprise Development (MSED Programme).

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