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—govt urged to resume issuing grants through LEN
Chief Executive Officer of INFO 10 Media, Public Relations and Document Centre, Vanessa Braithwaite Moore on Friday, called on the Government of Guyana to resume the issuing of small business loans through the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN).
“I must take this opportunity to call on the Government of Guyana to reconvene the issuing of small business loans through the Linden Enterprise Network. LEN currently has scores of incomplete applications since operations were frozen and this has definitely dampened the entrepreneurial spirit in Region 10,” Moore stated.
The call was made at INFO 10 Media’s inaugural business conference and business pitch competition which saw two of ten Lindeners who were shortlisted walking away with $1500 USD in grants that will assist in the development of their businesses.
Copping first place at the business pitch competition was Derris Thomas, Owner of Receptacle Variety won $1000 USD.
Meanwhile, Shellon Massiah, Owner of Ambrosial Cuisine copped second position and walked away with $500 USD.
The business conference and pitch competition was hosted in Linden at the Egbert Benjamin Conference Centre under the theme, ‘Creating avenues for enterprising in Region 10, through corporate networking and communal support’.
The conference focused on areas such as funding, branding and marketing; networking; the importance of soft skills in business development; the power of advertising; accounting, book keeping and financial literacy, and funding, among others.
In giving brief remarks, Moore said that the diversification of Region Ten’s economy is vital for its growth and development.
“The exploitation of other sectors and industries is needed for the continued growth of our economy as we are all cognizant of the down scaling of bauxite mining within the region, more so of recent closure of the Russian Aluminum Company RUSAL. Sectors such as agriculture and tourism are now positioned for exploitation. What can further complement this is our Region becoming a hub for entrepreneurship,” she noted.
Scenes from INFO 10 Media’s inaugural business conference and business pitch competition
Moore said she is hopeful that at the end of the conference many entrepreneurs will get the technical support and information they need to operate viable businesses which will enable them to transform their lives significantly.
The CEO added that INFO 10 Media is committed to having the event be an annual one, with next year’s business conference being bigger and better.
Chen Xilai, Charge D’affaires of the Chinese Embassy said although Guyana is an oil producing country, the relevance of the country actually relies more on the small businesses. As such, entrepreneurs have a great responsibility in diversifying and growing the economy.
While the LEN is not currently functioning, the Senior Officer at the Small Business Bureau, John Edghill in his remarks highlighted that the people of Region 10 can acquire grants through the Small Business Bureau.
Edghill said that scores of persons, including Lindeners have been able to receive grants from the Small Business Bureau in 2020 and 2021.
He said, “Region 10 and the people of Linden will not be forgotten. Through the Small Business Bureau over the last year and a half, 2020 and 2021, we have seen scores of clients receiving grants from the Small Business Bureau. We have more than doubled the grants since assuming office. Now you are able to benefit from grants up to $500,000. It is always a good opportunity when you are able to access finance.”
The initiative was also applauded by President of the Linden Chamber of Commerce, Victor Fernandes.