Youth dep’t dis­burses grants to young en­trepreneurs

Stabroek News Sunday - - FRONT PAGE -

The Depart­ment of Youth on Fri­day for­mally handed over grants for busi­nesses that were awarded to par­tic­i­pants of the Guyana Youth Busi­ness Sum­mit, which was held at the Pe­ga­sus Ho­tel in May.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­lease is­sued by Depart­ment of Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion (DPI), 11 par­tic­i­pants were de­clared win­ners of the ‘Jaguar’s Den Com­pe­ti­tion’ at the sum­mit and were se­lected for grant fund­ing to de­velop their pro­posed busi­nesses.

The re­lease said that dur­ing the hand­ing over cer­e­mony, which was held on Fri­day at the Min­istry of the Pres­i­dency, the re­cip­i­ents lauded the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s drive to de­velop and sus­tain an en­vi­ron­ment which fos­ters ini­tia­tives to tar­get youth de­vel­op­ment in var­i­ous sec­tors.

Re­cip­i­ents Isha­beth and Michael Sin­clair, who are res­i­dents of Re­gion Six, ex­pressed their ap­pre­ci­a­tion not only for the grant to fur­ther de­velop their busi­ness but also for the lead­er­ship train­ing which they re­ceived through Youth.

The Sin­clairs, who are both un­der the age of 30, are the founders and own­ers of M and I Busi­ness En­ter­prise, which is an agro-pro­cess­ing ven­ture that pro­duces cake-mix, pep­per sauce and a variety of spices that are al­ready on the shelves of lead­ing su­per­mar­kets.

“The com­pany is grow­ing – right now, we are look­ing to ex­pand. We plan to add an­other piece of equip­ment to the cur­rent oper­a­tion and com­plete the con­struc­tion of the fa­cil­ity which houses the oper­a­tion with this grant,” Isha­beth Sin­clair was quoted as say­ing.

“This com­pany is not only for us; it is for the de­vel­op­ment of our com­mu­nity as well. As the com­pany grows, we will be able to em­ploy more per­sons. We cur­rently have two per­sons em­ployed,” Sin­clair added.

Jewel Col­lier-Swan, along with three col­leagues, are cur­rently op­er­at­ing at Hubu, in Parika, where they are pro­duc­ing the Depart­ment of cas­sava flour. “This busi­ness is ba­si­cally a start-up. Al­though we were all in­volved in some as­pect of farm­ing prior to this, the fo­cus right now is cas­sava and adding value to the prod­uct through the man­u­fac­tur­ing process. We have started pro­duc­ing cas­sava flour un­der the brand “Guyana’s Own” and we have prospects of di­ver­si­fy­ing our prod­uct line. Cas­sava is a prod­uct which can be con­verted to so many end prod­ucts, and this grant will as­sist in the process,” Col­lier-Swan said

An­other re­cip­i­ent, Vanita Sa­vory, also ex­pressed her ap­pre­ci­a­tion and she dis­closed that the grant will as­sist in the con­struc­tion of a fa­cil­ity to house her busi­ness. Through her ven­ture, she hopes to in­tro­duce fresh mush­rooms to the Guyanese mar­ket.

At the hand­ing over, As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor of Youth Les­lyn Boyce, who is cur­rently act­ing in the ca­pac­ity of Di­rec­tor of Youth, pledged con­tin­ued sup­port to the de­vel­op­ment and em­pow­er­ment of youth on be­half of the gov­ern­ment Pub­lic In­for­ma­tion photo)

through the Depart­ment of Youth. “This Depart­ment will con­tinue to pro­vide you with the skills and re­sources to de­velop (Depart­ment of

your­selves as in­di­vid­u­als and em­power you to make mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tions to your com­mu­ni­ties,” Boyce said.

Michael and Isha­beth Sin­clair re­ceiv­ing their cheque from As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor of Youth, Les­lyn Boyce.

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