AS part of efforts to empower women and ensure stability among entrepreneurs, a new business incubator and Women’s Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) mobile app were officially launched on Monday.
The business incubator and app which are complementary initiatives to the recently launched WIIN and Cottage Industry programmes will provide both women and men with a central hub to promote their businesses and access services and support from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security.
Speaking at the launch ceremony held at the Guyana Women’s Leadership Institute at Cove and John, East Coast of Demerara, subject minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, said the initiatives were an extension to the efforts made by the ministry to empower women and ensure that they can provide for themselves and their families, while contributing to Guyana’s development.
The minister further explained that the incubator was conceptualised and created to give women a boost in their career paths as entrepreneurs after they would have received trainings from the respective programmes provided by the ministry.
“It is not only about the training and the women. What next? Do you train them and leave them? Absolutely not!” she said.
Dr. Persaud noted that the incubator will provide women with the assistance needed to jumpstart their business, help them deal with the quality control of their products and allow them to benefit from practical help in other aspects of entrepreneurship.
Meanwhile, the minister stated that the WIIN mobile app will allow women to market their products and services outside of Guyana.
She emphasised that their services must not only be limited to Guyana’s borders.
“We want women to think that they are not only producing for home here in our lovely land Guyana, but for the world at large.”
Joining the simple yet significant launching ceremony was President Irfaan Ali, who, during his address, said Guyana was undergoing a great transformation that needed the participation of all its citizens. In that regard, he noted that such initiatives were crucial for the achievement of equality and were a step forward in disintegrating the proverbial box that women had been placed in.
“Government here is trying to create a winning culture for women and something is going to happen in the economy that is going to necessitate what you are doing here,” he said.
According to President Ali, the country’s transition and development will depend on projects like the business incubator to provide sophisticated services to meet the needs of growing markets.
“… and that is why these programmes are critical; to give you that early advantage, to give you that business model, your development model [to] address these key issues and that brand that you are building is built sustainably [and] adds value,” the president added.
He stressed that in order for such projects to be successful, cohesion was required. He posited that while women should leverage the training and support they will receive through the respective programmes, they must also think about collaborations and working with each other to create multifaceted business enterprises and services.