Linden small-scale entrepreneurs prepare for oil and gas

─ trained in health, safety, sustainable businesses practices, professional management of businesses

DPI, Guyana, Friday, August 10, 2018

With the production of oil fast approaching, Linden’s small-scale entrepreneurs are receiving training on how to make their businesses viable for the many opportunities this industry will bring.

The latest of these training sessions concluded on Wednesday and over 40 entrepreneurs participated. The two-day session was hosted by the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN), in collaboration with LIBRA Management Group of Atlanta Georgia. LIBRA is a professional and technical services group that provides programme management, entrepreneurial development and Information Technology services to the US Federal Government and is working in Guyana to establish local content and to replicate some of the services offered in the US, in Linden.

Stacey Morrison [third right] and other facilitators of the workshop

Over the two days, the entrepreneurs benefited from a series of four workshops covering business development and sustainability. The topics included health and safety, creating sustainable businesses and professional management of businesses. LIBRA facilitator, Stacey Mollison said as an entrepreneur living in the diaspora, she was motivated to return to assist in boosting the Linden business industry. She collaborated with the LEN since it is pertinent and timely for the entrepreneurs to be cognisant of what skills are needed to keep their businesses sustainable, attractive to foreign investors and to make it the best among their competitors. Mollison said her aim is to also ensure Linden “cashes in on the oil-money” as well given its history in the mining sector and the scaling down of the bauxite industry.

In the area of health and safety, the entrepreneurs learnt of the need to keep themselves physically and mentally healthy, in order to keep their businesses functioning. “Many times we focus on everyone else but we are the main persons, we need to be healthy,” Morison said. They were also schooled on the need to maintain a safe business environment for customers and staff.

Relative to keeping businesses sustainable, the participants learnt how to effectively manage their businesses financially and competitively, thus staying ahead of the market. They were also educated on professional management so as to offer the best customer service, to ensure clients return.

Mollison said that she is confident the workshop will have a positive impact on the entrepreneurs and is encouraging other established entrepreneurs in the diaspora, to return home and engage the local small-scale entrepreneurs on the steps needed to develop, as they did. “I am a born Guyanese, I have been gone since I was 10 years old, I look at the opportunity with oil and gas, and there is a need to engage the entrepreneurs, people who have existing businesses, and people who want to,” she posited.

“As an entrepreneur, our goal is to make sure that every single person that comes in contact with us, no what we do and know that we do it better,” the LIBRA facilitator said. The workshop concluded with a pitch competition, and one entrepreneur won GYD $20,000.00 ($100 US).

Mollison said that ventures such as these will be a continuous and plans on hosting a women’s entrepreneurial programme in the near future.

Story and Images: Vanessa Braithwaite  

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