The United States Embassy in Georgetown hosted the “Entrepreneurship Speed Challenge” for local young aspiring business professionals and students on Tuesday in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
The challenge was initiated to encourage local youths in the business sector to “pitch” their business ideas and a have a chance to see those ideas materialise.
Over 50 young adults signed up to participate before Tuesday, the official day of the challenge, while others registered minutes before the start.
Contestants were given a chance to pitch their ideas to three business experts who have years of experience in starting up companies from scratch.
The experts were Rosh Khan, a social media entrepreneur who heads SocialRank; Ramesh Persaud, Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Private Enterprise Development Limited; and Judy Semple-Joseph, Chief Executive Officer of Credit Info Guyana.
The participants, who each had three minutes to present, were given three cards with a number unique to them and had to present their idea to each of the experts. The experts were allocated one minute to give immediate feedback and if the ideas were worthwhile and attractive for investment they would ask the participant for their cards.
Ten participants would be selected and invited back for a special Embassy-sponsored reception with entrepreneurs, private sector leaders, bankers and investors.
A representative of the Embassy said that the event was good initiative for young people to produce their ideas and grow in the business sector.
Diquan Lewis, 18, said that he was privilege to have such opportunity.
“This is a great opportunity for locals and we are definitely going to gain knowledge from these experts and other business people,” he said.
Lewis is hoping to start up a vending machine business.
Another participant told Stabroek News that she was excited to participate in the programme and gain experience.
“It is an excellent forum for persons who are not equipped financially and for those who need exposure,” Trudy Mc Curchin said, while noting that she planned to use the programme as a platform to access business connections to build a resort in Lethem, Region nine.
Marvin Wray, another contestant, said that it was a chance for development and opportunity for future success.
Wray is the co-founder of Taste Budz café. “We are selling food and at the same thing we are selling our Guyanese identity and this is our chance for improvement,” he said.