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…another 5 agro-processors to US$30,000 grant
Guyana Innovation Prize Awardees have each received a US$10,000 grant to commercialize their breakthrough ideas, while 5 local agro-processors will each receive a US$30,000 grant under the Economic Development Accelerator (EDA) programme, !nnovate Guyana announced on Tuesday.
The Guyana Innovation Prize Awardees are: Jubilante Cutting of Guyana Animation Network (GAN) and GAN Studios; Vickacy Williams of Aurora Technologies (Decorative Construction Tiles Made from Plastic Waste); and Lisa Dublin of EcoCarb GY (Activated Carbon to Clean Drinking Water Made from Coconut Waste).
Meanwhile, the 2022 Economic Development Accelerator Awardees are TasminPellew of Taz Foods (Cookup-in-a-Cup); Grace Parris of Asdel Foods (Prepared Packaged Pepperpot); Osric Hacker of Blue Ribbon Mfg. (Vanilla Extract); Dianna Plowell of Pleasurable Flavors (Shake N’ Fry Fish and Poultry Coating) and Dwayne Wade of Country Style Foods (Plantain Chips).
!nnovate Guyana, aninitiative of the Guyana Economic Development Trust, which supports innovation in science,technology, and agriculture, said the Guyana Innovation Prize is fully funded by Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT),while the Economic Development Accelerator (EDA) is being funded by the U.S. Agency for InternationalDevelopment (USAID) Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission.
It was explained that both programme cohorts began in 2021, and the innovators who signed on received robusttraining, technical support and one-on-one coaching. The programmes are intended to helpcatapult innovative startups and existing businesses forward.
The Guyana Innovation Prize, which commenced in July, 2021, saw an abundance of ideassubmitted for acceptance to the programme. However, the three most most outstanding innovatorsadvanced to the finals and have each been awarded a USD10,000 grant to commercialize theirbreakthrough ideas. This programme has been offered annually since 2018, and is opened to allGuyanese in Guyana.
Damian Blackburn, CEO of GTT reaffirmed the company’s support towards innovation inGuyana. He said: “Specific to growth and development in a country is innovation – a keycustomer promise of GTT to innovate for all in our country.”
He added, “As a company, we recognise that innovation goes beyond technology and it includesskin care, agriculture, solid waste management and pharmaceuticals. I’d like to congratulateGEDT for this initiative and the innovators for these really great concepts. I look forward tosupporting what’s to come for Guyana.”
Meanwhile, the Economic Development Accelerator was developed specifically to enhance existing,commercially successful agriculturally manufactured products by supporting their growththrough exports.
A total of 43 products were submitted for the programme, which commencedin September 2021. Of that number, 15 agro-processors were shortlisted as finalists for theprogramme award, offered as a result of support from the USAID Eastern and SouthernCaribbean Mission. These agro-processors benefited from training, technical assistance, andone-one-one coaching, in collaboration with international partners. Ultimately, 5 agro-processors will each receive a USD30,000 grant to accelerate exports, thereby supporting“Brand Guyana.”
“Small and growing businesses are key to Guyana’s economic development. With world classtraining and technical assistance provided under this initiative, these outstanding Guyanesecompanies are leading the way for developing a stronger agro-processing sector in the region. ”said Regional Representative for USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean, Clinton D. White.
“Commercialization of standout, scalable ideas undoubtedly contributes to economic growth anddevelopment. Encouraging and supporting the development of new ideas and the launching ofbusinesses from those ideas is integral to wealth creation for the innovators and the society,” !nnovate Guyana added.
The organization said together GTT and USAID, it is demonstrating that Guyana is aplace where thinkers and doers live and thrive.
“We Guyanese can succeed at important endeavors right in our home country while making animpact in the world, with the necessary support and access. This is the mission of the GuyanaEconomic Development Trust and our initiative !nnovate Guyana. We are thrilled tocongratulate the awardees and all the participants in both programmes, and we look forward tocontinuing to support them as they shine and help put Guyana on the map with theirinnovations,” said CEO of GEDT, Oslene Carrington.