‘WE LIFT 3’ empowering women, building businesses

The two-day ‘WE LIFT 3’ exposition kicked off on Saturday at the Movietowne tarmac where over 200 women-owned businesses took the opportunity to showcase their goods and services.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud officially declared opened the expo and highlighted that it is a platform for women entrepreneurs to expand their businesses.
WE LIFT ─ Women Empowering, Leading, Innovating, and Flourishing Together is an initiative crafted by the minister to give women a platform to network and showcase the products being offered.
Minister Persaud at the opening ceremony expressed, “I consider this initiative that is something very close to my heart and I hope that it’s one that will continue to be a platform for women across the length and breadth of Guyana.”

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud

The Department of Public Information (DPI) spoke with a number of exhibitors who were excited about the opportunity.

Owner of Bahbooshka’s Safety Shoppe Rhonda Brotherson said the exposition is very beneficial.

The Shoppe is a company that spspecialises  in providing health and safety items for expectant, new mothers and mothers with toddlers.

“This is actually my second year at WE LIFT. Last year I gained a lot of exposure and this year is even bigger and better with more women businesses on board so more people coming to view and I feel like really excited about this initiative because you get to showcase your business,” she expressed.

Founder and Programme Manager of Sunbeam Career Development, which is a local online learning platform, Iona Alonzo shared her experience.

“I am so happy to be here today, the opportunity to engage with women about career development is just fantastic for me because a lot of women face issues in the workplace and also in their own career development and our services help them to build their confidence,” Alonzo relayed.
Proprietor of AL Delightful Treats, Autimae Le-black added, “This one here is my first expo…so far, it’s okay, the day is still young … (I am aiming) to get more exposure, to get a lot more exposure because a lot of people don’t know I do so much things. I just came here today to showcase more of what I have to offer,” she noted.

Also, Angel Tasty Treats’ Founder Shaundell Benn related that she is aiming to gain more exposure and expand her business reach.

Angel Tasty Treats’ Founder, Shaundell Benn

Kayla’s Sweet and Savory Delights caters for people who are diabetic and persons who wish to eat healthier. Their products including cakes and buns, among others are all gluten-free.

Founder of the company, Atika Stephens informed DPI, “It’s a good initiative. I am actually thinking that this wouldn’t be my last. I am meeting different people, I am happy I am able to bring to the market or bring to the population awareness on products other than flour-based, regular wheat flour-based products that they can use.”

Further, Leisa Salon and Beauty Supplies is a local company that manufactures hair and skin products from natural materials that are found locally.

Founder, Leisa Gibson told DPI, “ this is my second year and I am excited to be here because you get to read some of your customers, persons that purchase your products maybe from a supermarket would get to see the person that makes the products. In case they want to find out anything more, they get to do that as well.”

Iona Primo, Business Manager of Queenp added, “I think it’s a great initiative because a lot of us don’t get the chance to really distribute our products where we want and get a lot of people to actually know about it. So, being here and being able to communicate with other persons, other women in businesses, is really great.”

Iona Primo, Business Manager of Queenp with some of her products

Meanwhile, Paula Benn – a representative of Pomeroon Rose Products situated in the Lower Pomeroon stated, “I think this initiative it’s very good because a lot of people learn about our products. Some of them say they’ve never heard about coconut cassareep and things like these …. And what you have to offer.”

Minister within the Ministry of Housing and Water, Susan Rodrigues interacting during the expo

The opening session was attended by Ministers Persaud, Susan Rodrigues and Hon Oneidge Walrond, the wife of Guyana’s Prime Minister, Mrs Mignon Bowen-Phillips and members of the diplomatic corps. The event is being sponsored by companies such as Nations, Spotlight Initiative, and Exxon Mobil.

It will run from 11:00 to 18:30 hours from Saturday to Sunday and will be separated into different sections.

Goods and Services range from delicious and healthy desserts to tasty cuisines, a wellness spa area with hand-made candles and soaps, local fashion and accessories and oil and gas support services.