In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Small Business Bureau commenced the In-School Entrepreneurship Programme, in September 2017. The programme targets vulnerable secondary students, from the ten administrative regions of Guyana, seeking alternative career options. Entrepreneurship and business innovation are promoted as a means of economic empowerment of youth.
The programme initially targeted one hundred (100) students from fifteen (15) secondary schools, who benefited from entrepreneurial discussion sessions and a grant of $30,000 each. In 2018, the programme expanded to twenty-five (25) secondary schools and approximately one hundred and sixty-five (165) students. As a result of the support and mentorship provided by the Small Business Bureau, viable businesses were created, and students were able to link academic programmes to real life career choices, particularly in the field of entrepreneurship.
The Details of the program are as follows:
1. Future Boss: Aspire to Inspire Sessions:
During a select subject period, agreed to by the teacher, the SBB representative conducts an interactive discussion highlighting:
§ The Benefits of Entrepreneurship
§ How to identify business opportunities – community needs
§ Opportunities for funding
§ Overview of requirements
These sessions are geared towards encouraging youth to develop innovative businesses, as well as utilize available networks and linkages to achieve business goals. The target audience for these sessions are fourth and fifth form students, from participating secondary schools.
2. Grant Allotment:
The highlight of the In-School Entrepreneurship Programme is the opportunity for youth to access funding for School Based Assessment (SBA) projects in the following subject areas:
§ Principles of Accounts/Principles of Business
§ Agricultural Science
§ Building Technology
§ Home Economics
Under the In-School Entrepreneurship Programme, students are required to complete a simple Business Plan, and use grants to develop and manage a business of their choice, as their SBA projects. Participating schools are identified by the Ministry of Education and SBB conducts periodic monitoring and evaluation with students and teachers.