UncappeD – propelling small businesses in Guyana

– Exhibitors laud initiative

– Govt will continue to support small businesses

DPI, Guyana, Sunday, March 31, 2019

UncappeD has, over the years, been a launching pad for small businesses across the country. The event, which was held today for the fourth time at the National Stadium at Providence, continues to provide small business owners like Rodiekah De Freitas with the much-needed exposure to get their products into the homes of Guyanese.

De Freitas, owner of ‘Diekah’s Spices’ first launched her wide range of spices at the last UncappeD event. This year, she is back, bigger and better, launching more eye-catching packages in various new sizes.

The young entrepreneur said that ever since the introduction of her business at ‘UncappeD’, her business has grown tremendously. Today, her products can be found not only at the Guyana Marketing Corporation (GMC) but also Bounty Supermarket, Distributing Services Limited (DSL), Nirva Supermarket and at FreshCo Supermarket in Diamond, East Bank of Demerara.

De Freitas expressed her gratitude for the opportunity and encourages others to get on board. “If they have something that they are passionate about, something that they love, contact the GMSA, be a part of Uncapped because that is the place for you to start and launch your business,” she stated.

Sandra Craig, owner of S&S Natural Fruit Flavor has been a part of the UncappeD event since its inception. Craig produces a variety of barbeque sauces made from organic fruits. Golden apple, tamarind, ginger and garlic, passion fruit, pineapple and mango are the flavours you can enjoy. Craig also received an award from the GMSA in 2017 for her finger licking sauces.

UncappeD, she said, has been very helpful to the development of her product and in garnering new customers not only locally but also internationally. She explained that “this event has helped me a lot because I am getting orders from other countries that are interested in the product. So far, I am getting people from Barbados, the UK and America that are in the process of purchasing the product”.

Minister of Business, Dominic Gaskin said that he was impressed with every aspect of the products displayed by the exhibitors. The Business Minister noted that quality and packaging has vastly improved from previous years.

“Government is prepared to give support, especially now that we recognise that small businesses are playing their part, they are responding, they are improving so we can work with them and advance them to another level… It is not a handout, these producers are doing it themselves, they are not sitting back and waiting for the government to do something for them. The government is supporting, they are doing the work and I think that is working quite well for them,” the minister underscored.

Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan who also attended the opening of the agro-processing show. He was pleased to see the variety of products that are produced locally at such a high standard.  That, he said, is a vindication of the government’s approach to the development of small businesses in Guyana.

“This year, we are going to activate the small business component of the procurement and we have pulled small business income tax down to 25 per cent, same as manufacturing, we have also given other incentives including a one-off GRA and NIS certificate for all those who have problems in registering their business or getting contracts,” he said.

The minister added that the government will do whatever it takes to give small business owners the best environment that will allow their business to flourish.

The fourth edition of UncappeD was hailed a huge success with over 70 booths on display and a significant turnout compared.  Products on display ranged from food items such as powdered seasonings, jams, chips, and condiments to crafts such as jewellery, dolls, ornaments, and cosmetics such as shampoos, soaps, and essential oils.

Isaiah Braithwaite

Images: Marceano Narine