Government injects $49.7M in hinterland businesses

The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is helping to further the dreams of 12-year-old Ashanna Fredericks who is hoping to open a document center in her community after completing her studies. According to the Ministry, Fredericks completed her computer studies where she was proficient in Microsoft Office and hopes to purchase a laptop and printer. The sum of $50,000 was received by the child’s parents to assist in her project.

Also, Paramakatoi’s Val Ann Edwin, 27 years old, highlighted that she applied for the cosmetology course because there is no existing service of this nature in the community and sees the potential this business has in the remote municipal.

Activist against trafficking in persons, Claudia Fraser who recently returned from Venezuela explained she completed courses in nail technician and hair styling and will look to buy supplies for her business while providing a safe space for women in Port Kaituma.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud in a statement from the Ministry said, “I was very heartened to listen women say they had plans to start their own businesses so the cash grants given were perfect stimuli for them to help in beginning their businesses. We forward to tracking those women to see what improvements they would have made towards their own income and towards helping them to sustain their businesses.”

A budding businesswoman receives her empowerment fund from Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr. Vindhya Persaud

“In the Hinterland where just under 1000 women benefited from this stimulus grant was no insignificant achievement and I will continue to ensure that we have more fruitful partnerships and also directly through the Ministry which focus on women empowerment,” she added.

Project Coordinator, Mahendra Budhram said the Hinterland Regions showed good responses with an inspiring collection rate.

“It is heartwarming to see persons coming out to receive this grant because they can now take the next step of starting to develop themselves and putting the money towards a business that they would have wanted to embark on,” he said.

The grants to residents in the hinterland total $49.7M. The Empowerment Fund is a collaborative effort between the Ministry and World Food Programme (WFP). So far, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) had the largest number of beneficiaries with a whopping 367 across two phases. 245 recipients came from Region One (Barima-Waini) of which there were 76 in Moraikobai, Mabaruma, 72 in Baramita and 24 in Port Kaituma. Meanwhile, Region Eight (Potaro-Siparuni) and Region Nine (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) had 192 and 191 recipients respectively.