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A Virtual Pitch Presentation is being held to advance as many as 15 Guyanese agro-processors from the first phase of the USAID-funded Economic Development Accelerator (EDA) programme that launched in June 2021.
The EDA is a platform for small and growing agro-processing businesses in Guyana, the US embassy here said in a statement. Under its umbrella of support, EDA provides a “Business Bootcamp” workshop, one-on-one coaching, access to international industry experts, and non-debt and non-dilutive financing for businesses making sauces, seasonings, and other foods.
The EDA was launched in June 2021 with an open call to Guyanese agro-processors to apply for participation. Local chefs judged a product-tasting event after which 30 small and growing agro-processing businesses were selected to participate in the program. These businesses were selected from more than 70 applicants who responded to the open call.
Developed and implemented by the Guyana Economic Development Trust (GEDT, EDA will assist at least five high-growth agro-processors with significant capital contributions to facilitate business expansion through exports. The first phase of the program began in September, with a virtual 12-week training program. Regional and international experts provided training and hands-on technical assistance to the 30 agro-processors. In addition, the New York University Stern School of Business and the Columbia University Graduate School of Business provided coaching to the program participants.
U.S. Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch made remarks during a brief opening session for the pitch presentations. Speaking to the program participants, she said, “The growth and development of these businesses, which will help diversify the economy, and your ability to create employment for fellow Guyanese, contributes to the ‘prosperity for all’ that should highlight this period in Guyana’s history.” Ambassador Lynch also thanked the project team, MBA coaches, subject matter experts from Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, and members of the Guyanese diaspora for their dedicated efforts. She added, “This has been a truly collaborative effort, with many partners committed to supporting a group of deserving, hardworking, and visionary business owners.”
The Guyana Economic Development Trust is an independent, U.S.- and Guyana-based initiative that supports early stage scientific-, technology-, and agriculture-oriented enterprises in Guyana. Through venture philanthropy–a business-minded approach involving long-term investments and strategic management support–GEDT incubates and accelerates small firms that help contribute to Guyana’s development and creates jobs. For more information, visit www.theguyanatrust.org.