Thirty young Guyanese entrepreneurs are being trained to create their own niche in the cultural industry.
The five-day business lab in cultural enterprises, which began yesterday at the Umana Yana, will offer technical skills and advice in business planning, marketing, and branding. It was developed to teach the participants, selected from 60 applicants who were nominated, business concepts and how to practice these concepts effectively.
According to Minister of Culture Dr Frank Anthony, there is a strong creative sector in Guyana and the challenge has always been how to harness this sector’s potential and make it a vibrant part of the economy. To do this, Anthony opined that it is important to first make the environment more fertile before developing cultural entrepreneurs.
He said the business lab is an important step in fostering cultural contributions to the economy, especially in a multi-ethnic society such as Guyana’s. “It is difficult to quantify the value of harmony; it is difficult to quantify the value of stability, and it’s difficult to quantify the national well-being. These cultural businesses have the potential to multiply all of these intents,” he observed.
Anthony pointed to developed countries where the cultural economy is one of the fastest growing areas. He went on to state that this is not accidental and can be achieved through systematic investments.
Anthony also cautioned the participants that owning a business isn’t easy and encouraged them to take risks in business ventures. “If we are to grow the economy and if we are going to diversify, we must continue to grow in the traditional sectors while we must constantly try to find new areas and new sectors to cultivate and develop,” he said.
The business lab is one of several conducted by the Israeli government within the past few years. Other countries that have benefited include St Vincent and the Grenadines, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, and Belize.
It is a collaboration between MASHAV, which is Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jerusalem, the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Centre, Young Americas Business Trust, and the Ministry of Culture. It will conclude this Friday and will see the presentations of simulated enterprises from its participants.