Millions up for grabs at youth business summit

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, May 18, 2018

Ten youths will have an opportunity to earn up to one million dollars to start their own business ventures during the Youth Business Summit. This was disclosed by the Department of Youth Project Officer, Germaine Watson during a press conference held today.

The Business Summit, which forms part of the National Youth Week activities, is first of its kind to be held in Guyana on May 23 and 24 at the Pegasus Hotel. Watson said that the summit will provide young people with the opportunity to start their own businesses. He highlighted that the department received nearly 300 applications, which had to be shortlisted to only 100.

Persons have also been encouraged to submit business proposals to receive startup funding for innovative business ideas. However, Watson noted that over 40 proposals were received. That amount is subject to being reduced.

Watson explained that “of those persons that would have submitted proposals, those proposals would have been vetted by a select panel and we are down to 21 proposals to be pitched at the summit, so we have 21 young people, pitching their proposals to an audience for the opportunity of winning startup funding for those proposals.”

Of the 21, only 10 will be selected to receive funding which ranges from $500,000 to $1Million, after being judged by reputable persons from both the public and private sectors. This is part of the of the government’s effort to create young entrepreneurs.

At the summit, youths will have access to a number of presentations by institutions such as the Guyana Revenue Authority, National Insurance Scheme, Food and Drug Department, the Guyana Energy Agency among others. Watson pointed out that this is important since as young entrepreneurs, those are some of the agencies which they would have to come into contact with at some point in time.

Other activities during National Youth Week includes a youth forum being held in Region Ten on May 21; a career knowledge fair will be hosted in Region Five on May 22. This will be followed by followed by an art exhibition to raise awareness on suicide, mental health and crime and violence on the May 25 in Region Six and an “Eyes-of-youth” exhibition in Region Three on May 27.

Director of Youth Melissa Carmichael-Haynes is encouraging youths to in the various activities. It was highlighted by the director that interested persons can contact the Youth Department.

National Youth week 2018 is being held under the theme “Empowering young people to foster national and community development through innovation”.

By Isaiah Braithwaite

Photos by Shane Clement