Twenty two (22) youths today graduated from the third closing ceremony of the Financial Literacy and Small Business Programme which was held at the Racquet Centre, Woolford Avenue.
During the six-week programme, the youths were exposed to training such as what is financial literacy, preparation of business plans, communication, budgeting, and accounting procedures among others.
The programme was aimed at empowering young people and filling the gap in society by equipping youths with the basic tools they would need to become entrepreneurs. Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin, in delivering the charge, congratulated the youths on taking the first step to becoming entrepreneurs by receiving the necessary training in small business.
Minister Gaskin pitched the idea of starting-up business in the area of Information Communication Technology (ICT). Minister Gaskin told the youths that around the world the idea of a ‘tech startup” is a big deal, while pointing out, it is not so in Guyana.
“I want to encourage you to give some thought to technology, it is an area with limitless possibilities and you should not be intimidated by technology, in fact you should seek to apply modern technology to anything that you do in business, and there is no type of business activity that you cannot improve and enhance through the application of technology.”
The Minister further stressed the impact technology could have on their business by using agriculture as an example. Minister Gaskin pointed out that in this modern age, there is technology that boosts production.
The Minister explained that, “farmers can now work very precisely… so many things have so much information about what they are doing that they can plan more efficiently and utilise the minimum amount of resources. It gives them a competitive edge, it makes what they produce less expensive, it reduces their operating cost more or less and anything that increases your competitiveness will give you the edge in business.”
Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, Dr. Terrence Smith said that he is dedicated to bringing financial literacy to Guyana. According to Dr. Smith, it is something that is lacking in the indigenous communities.
Dr. Smith explained that, “in the indigenous population and in some rural areas, you see how this thing is affecting them and therefore, it affects the economy of Guyana. My intention is to help focus on this matter and try to bring it to the forefront.”
The Central Bank, Dr. Smith noted, will be developing a programme to help the Guyanese people to understand what it means to be financially literate. “The project that we are trying to do at the Bank of Guyana is a mammoth project because we are going across Guyana, and I am trying to bring on a lot of stakeholders,” Dr. Smith explained.
Additionally, the Deputy Governor urged the youths to do a lot of reading as it relates to the dynamics of what is happening in the business world, how to run a small business and the challenges that come with running a small business.
Also present at the closing ceremony was Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment Aubrey Norton, Director of Youth Melissa Carmichael-Haynes, Deputy Director of Youth Leslyn Boyce, Senior Economic Empowerment Officer Samuel Saul and Facilitator of the programme, Lyris Primo. (GINA)