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|Women entrepreneurs have achieved much|
|Sunday, 10 June 2012 19:56|
…says Empretec’s Semple-Joseph
EMPRETEC Guyana Managing Director, Ms. Judy Semple-Joseph, has noted that there is much to celebrate when it comes to the progress women entrepreneurs have made in Guyana. However, there is still much work to be done in a number of areas to make it easy for women to compete and succeed.
She was speaking last Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the Venture Out! Programme for Women Entrepreneurs 2012, which saw an evaluation workshop in the National Library Conference Centre in Georgetown, on the success of the participants of the Venture Out! Programme instituted between 2010 and 2011.
The Venture Out! for Women Programme is a collaboration between Empretec Guyana and Republic Bank Limited, with a strategic focus on the development of entrepreneurship among women.
The collaboration started in 2010, and to date, approximately 300 women from Regions 2 (Pomeroon/Supenaam), 4 (Demerara/Mahaica), 6 (East Berbice/Corentyne), 9 (Upper Takutu/Upper Essequibo) and 10 (Upper Demerara/Upper Berbice) participated.
Given the success of the Venture Out! Programme, Republic Bank agreed to collaborate with Empretec Guyana for the third successive year; however, this year’s focus would primarily be on evaluating the success of this initiative.
Managing Director of Empretec Guyana noted that women have self-sabotaging beliefs that limit their ability to grow their businesses, and some challenges, such as lack of access to capital, markets, and technical assistance as well as the lack of credibility also hinder them.
However, the Managing Director maintained that none of these challenges are insurmountable “if you know how to deal with them”.
“Laying the groundwork for business expansion is like laying the foundation of a house, without it you can’t build a house; likewise, without a solid base for your business, you can’t build a million dollar enterprise,” she insisted.
Venture Out! 2012, Semple-Joseph said, is a programme that has been designed by Empretec to make its contribution towards the empowerment of women entrepreneurs in Guyana.
She recognised those women who would have done the Venture Out! Programme over the last two years, and commended them for recognizing the value of investing in their enterprises.
“You are among the elite group of women who have recognised the value, as I said before, of investing in your own business and its growth”, she said.
She said that research in the global Empretec network has found that only a mere 20 percent of participants who do a particular programme engage in the follow-up activities that are planned.
“In our estimation, there is always need for follow up, there is always need for keen support and guidance; and those women entrepreneurs who are successful always underscore the need for support, whether it be from your family, among your peers, or whoever,” she pointed out.
She said because the Venture Out! model continues to evolve, this year they decided to back those who have done the programmes over the last two years, disclosing that for Region 4, about 100 women would have completed the Venture Out! Programme during that period.
“…I think for those of you who are here, you would recognise the value of the programme that we are offering in 2012, and I hope you can share it with the others,” she said.
“For 2012, the progamme was re-designed to cater for your needs and to investigate how further we can help you,” she told the participants.
Since 2010, she said, they extended their Venture Out! activities to Republic Bank, adding, “They have collaborated with us because our idea of supporting women entrepreneurs actually mesh with the bank’s idea; and in that regard, they readily came onboard and supported the programme”.
“So much so that in the first two sets of programmes, I think women participated completely free, now we have just instituted a basic registration free,” she underscored.
Semple-Joseph said there is a workshop for 30 persons who have already registered for the new Venture Out! Programme for 2012, which will be conducted on June 16.
Delivering the feature address at the opening of the activity was Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Jennifer Webster.
The Venture Out! Programme is designed to provide target participants in the respective regions with the relative tools/machinery to become fully empowered and assertive in their goal of getting out of poverty. This empowerment exercise is done through mentorship and coaching, which is intended to help build self-confidence among participants, thereby promoting entrepreneurial awareness and determination.
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