Women's Issues In Guyana

Guyanese among 10 finalists for business award as UN recognises female entrepreneurs

Posted in Business by wiig on March 30, 2008
Tags: , , ,

Kaieteur News – March 30, 2008

The essence of creative energy and artistic ingenuity, Irene Bacchus-Holder has inspired many customers with her masterfully designed pieces. She has a unique eye for detail and her extraordinary talent is nothing short of breathtaking.

It was therefore no wonder when Bacchus-Holder was selected as the lone Caribbean finalist among 10 other female entrepreneurs worldwide for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Women in Business (WIB) Awards. Bacchus-Holder owns and manages “Irene’s Creative Handicraft” in the mining town of Linden.

Her business employs a small team of five young workers who craft the products designed by her. The handicraft shop is a small but dynamic business that utilizes Guyana’s unusual wood species to create original decorative and functional items of exceptional quality and beauty. The art is either burnt on (using a method known as pyrography) or painted on in order to enhance the appeal of the products.

While Irene’s Creative Handicraft is yet to achieve its long term business goals, Bacchus-Holder is of the view that “the prospects are good”.

Should she be adjudged winner, Bacchus-Holder will be the first woman in the Caribbean to receive such recognition. The women are being judged on Innovation, Entrepreneurial Talent and Outcomes and Achievements.

In addition to Bacchus-Holder, the other nine finalists are: Torrado Elba Rosa (Argentina); Medji Dédé Léa Edith (Benin); Paola Borges Barcellos Tucunduva (Brazil); Messeret Belihu (Ethiopia); Augustine Hammond (Ghana); Pauly Apea-Kubi (Ghana); Sana Zaal Burgan (Jordan); Sapphira Nyabunwa (Uganda); and Emelda Nyasha Nyamupingidz (Zimbabwe).

In recognition of the efforts of EMPRETEC Centres worldwide, UNCTAD/EMPRETEC launched the “Women in Business Award” which is being offered for the first time in April 2008 during the UNCTAD XII Conference.

Bacchus-Holder said her initial encounter with EMPRETEC has been in the participation in the Entrepreneurship Training Workshop through the sponsorship of LEAP.

Apart from the motivation she received from participating in the entrepreneurial capacity building project, she has cited the Enterprise Development Progamme as particularly helpful in advancing her business to where it stands today.

Bacchus-Holder applauded the efforts of Empretec Directorate for continuing the programme locally. The entrepreneur believes that Empretec holds the prospects of providing substantial benefits to serious businesspeople.

She is recommending that the programme be continued but is hopeful that it is also extended to entrepreneurs throughout Guyana.
Bacchus-Holder also disclosed that she is looking forward to future support from EMPRETEC.

According to EMPRETEC’s Managing Director, Judy Semple-Joseph, the selected entrepreneurs own highly productive and innovative businesses ranging from handicrafts to industrial food processing as well as garments, hotel and web portal.

Semple-Joseph said they also provide role models for other women, spearheading a process of eco-cultural change in their communities.
“In short, by this award UNCTAD is applauding women entrepreneurs in developing countries for overcoming the traditional obstacles that small businesses usually encounter,” the Managing Director told Kaieteur News.

The selection of Bacchus-Holder is a signal achievement by an entrepreneur who has benefited from the services of EMPRETEC Guyana, Semple-Joseph said.

She added that Bacchus-Holder’s story is indeed a testimony to the effectiveness of the EMPRETEC Model in promoting entrepreneurial success.

Recently, EMPRETEC Guyana was singled out for special mention by the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi in his statement in respect of the UNCTAD / EMPRETEC Women in Business Award.

Dr Panitchpakdi lauded the pioneering role played by the women of EMPRETEC in the process of economic development and considered them role models.

The Directors and members of the EMPRETEC Family said they are indeed proud of Bacchus-Holder’s achievement in reaching the finals of the inaugural Women in Business Award.

The field of nominees from Guyana included Dr Barbara Peterkin (B’s Beauty Circle & Naturopathic Centre), Patricia Helwig (Despat’s Catering) and Roxanne King (Roxy’s Fashion & General Designing).

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