The International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly of Guyana (IDPAD-G) is part of a core group seeking to promote and enhance the commercial prospects of Guyanese of African descent.
As such, the IDPAD-G collaborated with the African Business Roundtable (ABR) and the Nile Valley Economic Community to host a ‘One Stop Shop’ to equip Afro-Guyanese with the tools needed to achieve economic distinction.
The event was hosted at Critchlow Labour College auditorium last Wednesday.
IDPADA-G Chairman, Vincent Alexander urged over 100 Afro-Guyanese participants to use the resources available at the conference to better position themselves to thrive in the business sector.
Alexander also encouraged the crowd to use their knowledge-sharing to change their setbacks in the business sector .
“We know that one of the areas that African-Guyanese have been disadvantaged is commerce and we have got to repair that. We have got to fix that during this decade. We are hoping that the activity is a small step in that direction….”
“What we’ve done is bring you together, to share with you the knowledge of what are essential requirements if you’re going to be engaged in business,” he said.
He noted too that the event was not one to distribute funds, but rather to educate Afro-Guyanese on how they can best position themselves to acquire such.
“Today you’re not going to get loans, you’re not going to get grants, but today your eyes are going to be opened to the possibility of loans, to the possibility of grants.
“We are saying to you, that we are committed to working with organisations and with the government to make it easier, hereafter, for you to get grants and for you to get loans, because that has been a major obstacle for African businesses.
Meanwhile, President of the ABR, Eric Phillips, sought to remind the participants of the impact of African figures who have and continue to impact the world’s economy.
Phillips, who is also an executive, African Cultural and Development Association (ACDA), noted too that Africans are among the “world’s first business people.”
Phillips also advised them to steer clear of the naysayers and reminded them that entrepreneurship is in their blood.
He also reminded participants that their ancestors were entrepreneurs and it was due to their ingenuity that the nation has seen many economic developments, noting “economic power is nothing new to us.”
He stated that it was their ancestors who pooled their money and bought the first African village, Victoria, and developed it.
Phillips pointed out that Afro-Guyanese “have been deprived of it [economic power] for lots of reasons and during this decade, we need to come together and create economic wealth. Not just economic wealth, generational wealth.”
He encouraged participants to assess the budding oil economy and create diverse visions. The ACDA Executive stressed that the business ventures should not be dependent on the oil industry.
The event placed emphasis on “knowledge sharing” for budding entrepreneurs.
Other presenters at the business conference included the Small Business Bureau (SBB); the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA); commercial banks and credit unions; GO-Invest Guyana, Credit Info, the Commercial Registry; Lands and Surveys; the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED), the Central Housing & Planning Authority (CH&PA), the National Insurance Scheme (NIS); the New Building Society (NBS); and representatives of the Ministries of Finance, Agriculture and Natural Resources.
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