Regions Two, Seven women benefit from funds to start up businesses

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security in collaboration with the World Food Bank (WFB) on Wednesday, distributed some $14.9 million through the ‘Empowerment Fund’ to residents of Regions Two and Seven.

The initiative was brought to fruition late last year, to provide women graduating from the ministry’s Women Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN) programme with the finances to launch their own businesses.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud handing over ‘Empowerment Fund’ to a recipient.

Human Services Minister, Dr. Vindhya Persaud, M.P, said the initiative is being rolled out to help women to become financially sound.

“A big part of why this is happening this way, is to help women to be financially empowered and to be independent.”

She added that they have to start thinking what to do to ensure that they are able to sustain themselves.

DPI spoke to several of the 299 persons who benefited from the ministry’s $50,000 grant. They said the initiative is great, as the money will be the stepping stone for their businesses.

Seventeen-year-old Savita Lall, who participated in the administrative assistant course said the money will assist her to purchase uniform.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud handing over ‘Empowerment Fund’ to a recipient.

“I plan to gain employment and get ready to go into the world of work, buy clothes for work and so on. I am very proud of the government and the things they’re doing for the community and to help us.”

Toshanna Gafoor, who was laid off from work due to COVID-19 said, “I am excited right now; I feel very lucky to be a part of this course, and I want to continue to go to more courses. I have big dreams and I am very thankful for this; this has been very helpful for me. I plan to do my own business actually.”

Meanwhile, Padmordeen Ramnauth, a single mother said, “It is a very good initiative especially for the single moms and for the persons you know that don’t have a job so at least they can learn something and one day open their own business. I am doing cakes and cupcakes for parties and stuff so I will invest it in that.”

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud handing over ‘Empowerment Fund’ to a recipient.

Raveena Roopnarine thinks, “ it is a good thing they doing because most women are single moms and everybody can do something instead of being home doing nothing and this is a great opportunity for them to start out.”

Pearlena Jacobus, a mother who received the fund on behalf of her daughter said, “Well I feel very happy because it will help a lot and I thankful that we can get a little help. Well, we have started poultry, this money will use because we normally do barbeque and it will help to buy some of the ingredients and I know that the business will grow.”

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