Remarks as prepared
Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch
Economic Development Accelerator (EDA) Business Pitch Event
December 13, 2021
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
It’s wonderful to be here with you today. Thanks to the staff at USAID and our partner, the Guyana Economic Development Trust, for organizing today’s event. To all the participants here today, the United States is committed to helping Guyana achieve success during this transformational decade in its development journey, and your work is an important part of that transformation.
USAID prioritizes business growth and development as an essential part of supporting a country’s path to sustainable development.
For 60 years, USAID has been providing development assistance around the world, supporting economic development, improving health care systems, strengthening democratic governance and working with partners in government, civil society, and the private sector to improve lives and livelihoods.
These efforts have perhaps never been more crucial in our lifetimes than now, as we seek to recover from the devastation COVID-19 has brought to our economies, particularly to micro, small and medium enterprises. We must not just build back, but build back better as we innovate our systems and structures to be ready for the needs of tomorrow. To this end, the USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean Mission supported this innovative Economic Development Accelerator, or EDA, program with $225,000 USD of assistance.
Our partner, the Guyana Economic Development Trust, designed the EDA program to improve the operations of small and growing agri-businesses and increase their export capability.
The EDA program has been working with 30 businesses, represented here today by the business owners, providing training and business mentoring over a 12-week period. This work has been enriched through a partnership that connected MBA students to local companies to provide business coaching or mentoring to the business owners. This has been an important and valuable part of the first phase of business support. The entire team’s dedication to a high standard is commendable and greatly valued.
The growth and development of these businesses, which will help diversify the economy, and your ability to create employment for fellow Guyanese, contributes to the “prosperity for all” that should highlight this period in Guyana’s history. And, the United States will remain your committed partner in building the economic cooperation between our two countries.
Thanks go to the project team and the MBA coaches for their dedicated work to ensure small and growing businesses receive the type of customized, in-depth support that is needed for them to grow and transform their businesses. I would also like to recognize the many subject matter experts from Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago, who joined as speakers during the sessions, gave their time and shared valuable knowledge with participants. Members of the Guyanese diaspora and friends have also provided expertise on cross-border volunteering and cultural competencies to prepare the MBA coaches for their roles; a thank you to them for their contributions also. Overall, this has been a truly collaborative effort, with many partners, committed to supporting a group of deserving, hardworking, and visionary business owners.
As each of you, the business owners, makes your case for moving onto the next stage of the program, my best wishes to you. Your commitment to solve problems, respond to market needs, and lead thriving businesses is evident in your ability to reach this point and your passion to go to the next level. I wish each of you continued success and I hope to someday soon be able to visit some of your businesses and learn a bit more of what you’ve been achieving.
Thank you all for your hard work and commitment. This program and all of you are a shining example of how private and public sectors can partner to create sustainable development for all. Best of luck in all your future endeavors. Thank you very much.