Be go getters to achieve economic independence- Minister Lawrence urges women

GINA, GUYANA, Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Women today were urged to devise a plan that is sustainable, to set objectives and smart goals that are achievable, realistic and measurable, and to adopt the right attitude which will determine their success in business.

Women entrepreneurs at the forum in observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

Women entrepreneurs at the forum in observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

This encouragement came from Minister of Social Protection Volda Lawrence during an address to women at a forum in observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to be observed on November 25 and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, November 19.

Women from Regions 2, 4, 6, 7 and 10 participated in the forum held at the Pegasus hotel, which was organised by two Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs): the Volunteer Youth Corps (VYC), and the Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO) international.  The theme of the forum was “Empowering women to be less susceptible to violence and discrimination through entrepreneurship.”

Minister Lawrence told the participants that, “…you must be positive and aggressive in your approach. You have to be confident, smart, and creative, prepared and determined to effect change through your business activity so that you can make a difference in your lives and achieve economic independence. You need to stand proud and resolute, flexible and adaptable in your endeavour.”

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence addressing  the forum in observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

Minister of Social Protection, Volda Lawrence addressing the forum in observance of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

The Social Protection Minister urged the participants to remove themselves from poverty and the perpetuation of discrimination and violence. “You must worm your way out of the tentacles of these social ills.”

The Minister highlighted also the importance of saving, and borrowing opportunities for female businesses.

Minister Lawrence said that “the VYC and CUSO international have been extremely active over the past six years in building partnerships and implementing projects focusing on enhancing the productive capacity of entrepreneurs.”

The Minister noted that, “To date CUSO international has been instrumental in support of Guyana’s national voluntarism platform. They have promoted life skills and vocational training for teenage mothers and have supported the creation of the Women’s agro processors development network to help small scale producers in rural and indigenous communities.”

Ministry of Business, Permanent Secretary, Rajdai Jagernauth addressing the participants of the women’s empowerment forum

Ministry of Business, Permanent Secretary, Rajdai Jagernauth addressing the participants of the women’s empowerment forum

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Business, Rajdai Jagernauth noted her ministry’s commitment to help finance businesses, promote work force enhancement, promotion of exports and business development.  Jagernauth further explained that the Ministry has been gearing up the Small Business Bureau (SBB) to assist small businesses, and is actively working to aid female entrepreneurs.

The two NGOs have played a key role in the education sector; they developed a curriculum for a career guidance programme to be implemented in high schools. The Social Protection Minister said “from all accounts, this programme has had resounding success.

She noted that 10 schools in Georgetown have since implemented the programme and the intention was to have a second year curriculum for those students who successfully completed the first year. The Minister is currently awaiting the 2017 budget to roll out phase two of the curriculum.

High Commissioner of Canada, Pierre Giroux

High Commissioner of Canada, Pierre Giroux

Minister Lawrence expressed Guyana’s appreciation to CUSO. She also expressed hope that it will extend its programmes to target women and youths in the hinterland regions.

By year-end, 10 agro projects under the auspices of the Ministry will be in full progress.

Women were advised to save “no matter how small the sum is, it will provide for our future needs” and to visit the department of labour, the National Insurance Scheme and their insurance broker.

High Commissioner of Canada, Pierre Giroux applauded the partnership between the VYC and CUSO. The High Commissioner noted that the forum will empower female entrepreneurs and businesses to achieve financial independence. By extension, this will reduce women’s vulnerability to discrimination and violence.

 

By Zanneel Williams

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