Close to a decade, the Small Business Bureau (SBB) has been able to reach out to nearly 5,000 businesses throughout Guyana and provide assistance to these entrepreneurs. This was disclosed by SBB CEO, Dr. Lowell Porter in the recent edition of the Invest Guyana magazine.
Dr. Porter said, “The services offered by the bureau are specifically tailored to meet the needs of small businesses, through training, funding, coaching/mentoring and general business support.”
In addition to the 5,000 businesses supported, SBB aided close to 600 youths from targeted programmes to boost their entrepreneurial vision.
According to the CEO, despite the successes received SBB have reinforced its commitment to the Guyanese people. Moreover, going forward into 2020 SBB and its stakeholders will be focusing on a few core areas to improve their services to small businesses.
Firstly, they will be focusing on capacity building through training. In this area, the entity wishes to implement knowledge and tools to operate efficiently and effectively within the growing business environment.
This programme will target entrepreneurs at several levels, including the youths and other vulnerable groups. It was noted that regional or international opportunities will be provided where necessary.
Also the SBB will have policy recommendations. In this aspect the policies recommended on behalf of the local Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), reflect the needs in communities as well as to create a holistic developmental approach to the business environment.
Furthermore, small businesses can expect better opportunities to receive funding once they meet the necessary requirements. SBB plans on expanding its operations in 2020.
Funding will be provided at competitive rates, designed specifically to meet market demands and boost their overall performance.
SBB has pledged that it will ensure the local SMEs are poised to take advantage of every opportunity which presents itself for holistic development from 2020 and beyond.
The SBB was established under the Guyana’s Small Business Act (2004) to implement programmes and offer services which address major constraints faced by small businesses – access to finance, business management and technical skills.
It was also put in place to promote policies which foster small business development and monitor small businesses’ access to designated 20% of Government’s procurement of goods and services.