Tomorrow, Saturday November 19, will be celebrated as Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and the George-town Chamber of Commerce and Industry in collaboration with the privately-owned GeoTechVision, the Small Business Bureau and CUSO International, will host a seminar aimed at further fostering entrepreneurship and celebrating women in business, at the Pegasus Hotel, Georgetown.
The seminar, the organizers say, is aimed at promoting discussions with entrepreneurs and stakeholders on the topic of business incubation and some of the benefits that can accrue therefrom. The seminar will also feature presentations from women who are in business in Guyana and elsewhere in the Caribbean.
Stabroek Business salutes women in business on this important occasion and commits to continuing to promote the entrepreneurial pursuits of Guyanese women through the pages of our newspaper.
When we reflect on women in business in Guyana, we contemplate the broad spectrum of entrepreneurial talent, from the tough and hardy women miners, farmers and market vendors to those women who own and manage executive-type establishments. All of these, in their own particular ways, have helped to build a strong and capable family of women entrepreneurs.
Nor has the journey been an easy or uneventful one. The business community has not, over the years, been immune to the gender prejudice that has limited the role of women both as professionals and as part of the work force. Indeed, there were times when that prejudice extended to the view that women were less well-suited than their male counterparts to running businesses. Time was when those prejudices even affected decision-making by commercial banks in terms of bank loans.
The contemporary transformation has been dramatic. These days, there are examples of established family-owned businesses in which women play a critical role. What exists in even greater numbers are businesses that have been built by women, from the ground up. All of these exemplify the reality that women have more than proven their worth as entrepreneurs.
Tomorrow’s event is all the more noteworthy because it has secured the support of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, which has evolved from being a heavily male-dominated organization to, in more recent years, throwing its weight behind women in business. The same point should be made about both GeoTech Vision a woman-owned business and the Small Business Bureau a state-run entity charged with, among other things, raising the profile of women in business in Guyana. What this combination of stakeholders suggests is that in the matter of promoting women’s entrepreneurship, real conversations are taking place across divide. For women’s entrepreneurship as much as for Guyanese entrepreneurship as a whole this is a particularly encouraging sign.