GRIF Fund enables more training opportunities under SBB

GINA, GUYANA, Thursday, January, 5, 2016

Five key areas of training will be available to persons from all 10 administrative regions under the Business Bureau (SBB).

The training will be financed from the Guyana REDD + Investment Fund (GRIF), towards the cost of the Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) Development Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups Project.

Finance Officer of the Small Business Bureau, Simon Pollard

The GRIF Fund is being managed by the Inter- American Bank (IDB), and the venture targets Small Business and Micro and Small Enterprises operating in the low carbon sector.

Finance Officer of the SBB, Simon Pollard, said that the main purpose of the project is to assist the Government in its green economy drive, thereby, reducing carbon emissions and deforestation, hence businesses in the low carbon sector will be giving priority.

Training will be done in sustainable mining, sustainable forestry, cosmetology, soap manufacturing and skin cream/body lotion manufacturing.

These specialised training programmes will be implemented so as to improve the technical capacity of the project beneficiaries to further develop their product lines while ensuring that the merchandise are of  acceptable standard. This technical knowledge will be disseminated to SBB clients through sector clusters within the administrative regions.

Pollard said that the SBB is asking for specialists to conduct the training so that the young entrepreneurs selected will see their businesses grow, and understand clearly how the products are made and contribute to Guyana’s economy.

The SBB is currently advertising for consulting services to conduct training in the five selected areas. It was however, noted that advertising is not only being done locally but also on International websites such as the United Nations (UN) and CARICOM.

The consulting services are required to develop curriculum and execute specialised training programmes, for the MSE Development Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups Project. Consultants will be selected in accordance with the procedures set out by the IDB’s policies for the selection and contracting of consultants and is open to all eligible bidders.

Pollard, in explaining the selection process for the training, pointed out that persons must have an established business (however if they have a business idea and need training the SBB will help as far as possible), and be a member of the SBB.

Emphasising that persons will be selected from all 10 administrative regions because the SBB’s mandate is to ensure that every Region is touched, Pollard explained that the bureau will look at the needs assessment of its clients in relation to the five identified areas and select persons from there as well.

Pollard said that the project has two components – access to finance and business development training.

Pollard explained that persons can receive grants to the value of up to $300,000 under the Low Carbon Development Grant Scheme, once businesses reach the criteria.

“Our goal is to ensure that after the training these people are fully equipped to see their business become viable, also to see them contributing to the economy, to see them creating jobs, as well for young people and persons within their respective Regions,” Pollard said.

The Finance Officer said that there is a follow-up process, whereby officers go into the fields to ensure that persons that were trained and will be trained put into practice what would have been taught.  He noted that there are some instances whereby persons require additional training, in which the SBB is willing to assist.

The GRIF fund will end this year and Pollard said that the SBB is hoping that the GRIF’s 2002 five-year grant funding will be extended with the intention that there will be a phase two of training which they hope comes into effect in the next few years.

Pollard noted that during the last four years, a lot was done and he believes that in the final year, more things will be happening. For the last half of 2016, a tremendous amount of training was done in all the administrative regions.

Training for this phase project will last for five months and at the end participants will receive certificates.


By: Gabreila Patram