INFO 10 Media, Public Relations and Document Centre has revealed the names of ten entrepreneurs shortlisted to compete for $1500 USD in grants that will assist in the development of their businesses.

On Friday, INFO 10 Media will be hosting its inaugural business conference in Linden at the Egbert Benjamin Conference Centre with the aim of empowering young business owners and potential entrepreneurs in Region 10.

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According to the Owner and Chief Executive Officer of INFO 10 Media, Vanessa Braithwaite Moore the business conference will seek to educate the attendees on how to become successful small business owners through discussing funding, branding and marketing, agro-processing, legal processing, networking, and financial and technical assistance.

“The business conference is geared towards enhancing Linden’s business environment by empowering and enabling residents to become their own bosses. This will have a ripple effect on the town’s economy as it will be more diversified and sustainable. With a business environment more enhanced, the standard of living of residents, particularly vulnerable groups, will also be enhanced,” Moore told Village Voice News.

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Moore noted that during the conference a small business pitch competition will take place and 10 shortlisted small business owners and potential entrepreneurs will be given a chance to pitch their businesses.

Those shortlisted are Kristy Dazzel, owner of Kristy Dazzeling Graphics; Pamela Wilson, owner of Pammy’s Party Supply; Derris Angelina Thomas, owner of Receptacle Variety; Shellon Messiah, owner of Ambrosial Cuisine; Devon Thompson, owner of Bling’s Beast Juice; Emila Cumerbatch, owner of M3L’s Beauty Spa; Alero Allen, owner of Double A’s Fresh Juice; Shenelly Bowen, owner of Heaven’s Bliss; Yoland Barnwell Benjamin, owner of Y’s Sweets Treats, and Brandy Esbrand, owner of Esbees.

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Moore told this newspaper that a team of judges from recognized enterprising entities, will judge the pitch competition and the first-place winner will be presented with $1000 USD, while the second-place winner will be presented with $500 USD.

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In addition to the pitch, 40 percent of the points will also be derived from a public judging segment. This percentage will be calculated based on the amount of shares the finalists receive on INFO 10 Media’s Facebook page.

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According to Moore, the business conference is expected to attract scores of residents who are eager to become business owners but do not possess the information or support to do so.

In 2018, a new Guyana Labour Force survey, discovered that Region 10, which has approximately 40,000 persons, has one of the highest unemployment rate in Guyana. According to the survey, more than 75 percent of the region’s labour force is unemployed.

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In an effort to escape the unemployment statistic, more and more Lindeners are now leaning towards entrepreneurship.

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Over the years, efforts have been made to diversify the town’s economy by various private and government agencies.

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These efforts included the availability of micro-business loans through Linden Enterprise Network (LEN), a government funded programme, that provided an avenue for the establishment of an industrial hub, low interest business loans and technical support for entrepreneurs.

In 2020 however, this operation was frozen to undergo major restructuring.

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LEN’s current non-operational status has dampened entrepreneur’s prospects for financial aid, training opportunities and much more, that is exclusively focused on Linden.

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