ExxonMobil Guyana is stepping up its partnership with the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) to support local manufacturing and the agro-processing sector.
Through a sponsorship of G$10 million, ExxonMobil Guyana is supporting GMSA’s programme to pilot a web platform to facilitate information sharing, connectivity and communication, linking products and service providers with potential clients nationally, regionally and internationally.
The initiative is focused primarily to help Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs) recover and grow during and post COVID-19. The pandemic has had a devastating effect on small businesses. A recent survey by the GMSA among its members revealed that 17 per cent of those polled have stopped operations, with SMEs being impacted the hardest.
“While there are initial efforts to reopen businesses and get the economy going again, given the COVID pandemic, new and innovative ways of promoting and doing business will need to be adopted,” said GMSA Vice President, Ramsay Ali, noting that meetings, large gatherings and expos are unlikely to happen in the near term.
“Embracing technology is, therefore, critical going forward. The GMSA intends to pilot this initiative starting with the agro-processing sector and, with the lessons learned, expand to the forestry and wood products and services sectors in subsequent phases. We see this not only as a COVID response, but also as an opportunity to embark on the use of ICT as part of Guyana’s strategic direction of moving to a green economy. We welcome the continued support by ExxonMobil, which have been a principal sponsor for GMSA’s UncappeD Initiative,” Ali said.
“This is a great opportunity for us to partner with the country and to help our SMEs in these unprecedented times.” said ExxonMobil Guyana President, Alistair Routledge, who added: “We are glad to be able to play a part in supporting the recovery of agro-processing and small businesses in Guyana affected by the pandemic.”
The GMSA and ExxonMobil Guyana previously teamed up to implement the successful UncappeD Initiative which increased awareness in the public domain and among key stakeholders of the wide range of quality agro products being produced in Guyana and the entrepreneurs behind these products.
In addition to raising the profile of over 100 agro-processors and their products, UncappeD facilitated linking producers, suppliers and support service providers to enhance the development of synergies. It was accompanied by an active education, awareness and capacity building programme to enable small agro-processors to better manage and grow their businesses.