As of January 2023, the HerVenture mobile learning app has transformed over 12,000 women-owned and led businesses, making waves across Guyana through a personalised roadmap for business development.
This ‘fun, flexible and free’ award-winning app for women entrepreneurs is delivered by ActionINVEST Caribbean Inc. (ACI), and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW) headquartered in the United Kingdom. To date, the CBFW has successfully supported over 200 000 women across the globe. In partnership, they embarked on their mission to empower women to start, grow and sustain successful businesses, aimed at redefining the future for themselves and their societies.
Launched September 2021, ACI and the CBFW began to support driven women entrepreneurs through the sponsorship of ExxonMobil Foundation, upon which women-led businesses were granted a pipeline of business development opportunities in Regions 3, 4, 6 and 10. Accessible to users across all administrative regions, women entrepreneurs living in Guyana benefited from self-paced, digital learning tracks, each focused on varying topics – launching a business, financial planning and management, market access and e-commerce among ten learning tracks.
In August 2022, the Mobile Money track was launched by partnering entities MMG and GTT. The Ministry of Human Services and Social Security has been instrumental in the delivery of HerVenture, with the British High Commission having pledged their support.
According to Programme Manager Ms. Selena Bacchus, HerVenture has led tens of thousands of entrepreneurs to not only be presented with opportunities for education, but advertising and capacity-building measures inclusively. HerVenture has spurred the growth of women entrepreneurs through increased financial independence which led to upskilling, stronger family relationships, and household security.
The HerVenture app delivered education in a recuperative time for Guyana; post-pandemic, where women entrepreneurs were determined to start new businesses, reopen, and accelerate their growth. Women entrepreneurs within the livestock and agroprocessing, food preparation, beauty care, retail and consulting industries were eager to kickstart their growth, having expressed their greatest challenge as accessing finance.
Including HerVenture, ACI and the CBFW continue to invest in women entrepreneurs through the Road to Growth, Road to Finance and Road to Leadership programmes, flagships of the CBFW.