An enterprising young man is on the brink of developing what may be Guyana’s first ever barter app.
‘Swopp’ is the brainchild of Shemar Spencer, a beneficiary of the Ministry of Education’s Youth Innovation Project of Guyana (YIPOG) and the local tech company Intellect Storm.
‘Swopp’ is still in the developmental stage, Spencer explained in an exclusive interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI). “I am trying to move away from the throwaway society to the more reuse and recycle society because one’s man garbage is another man’s treasure. So instead of throwing away and creating unnecessary landfills, you can swap it for something else, something that you need.”
The idea for this app was birthed almost one year ago when the young Business Administration student was assisting his aunt at her restaurant. The build-up of waste products was an issue since the garbage truck collected refuse just once a week. Spencer said he contacted a farmer via Facebook to ascertain if he was interested in procuring waste for his pigs. The farmer then offered to exchange fruits with Spencer’s aunt for the waste products. To that end, the farmer trades fruits for the waste and both parties’ benefit.
Brimming with the idea, Spencer submitted an application to the YIPOG project for innovative ideas and was awarded $1M to create the barter app. He then met the Intellect Storm group at the Ministry of Public Telecommunications First Hackathon last October, where he decided to collaborate with the tech group to make this app a reality.
The aspiring entrepreneur stated that his app differs because it “is connecting millions of people around the world- it becomes a supplemental economic system, where we can experience growth due to bartering.” Spencer is urging other local entrepreneurs to develop apps for their businesses since the benefits are numerous. “Technology is the game changer worldwide. An app enables you to connect to persons worldwide, from the click of a button.”
The app, which should be completed by May of this year, will enable persons to trade without money, but more so it will contribute to Guyana’s developing green agenda. Kevon Spencer, Jamal Layne, and Tresonne Headly are Shamar Spencer’s partners working to make this app a reality for all Guyanese to use.
Spencer said without the guidance of Eldon Marks and Sherrod Duncan, he would not have been able to make the strides he as, more so as a young person being able to feel secure to build a business.