Two Guyanese women were among 22 leading female entrepreneurs from 10 Caribbean countries who attended the two-day Entrepreneurs Network Caribbean (WENC) in the USA capital Washington DC, on March 13.
The event was also attended by US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Guyana was represented by Director of D & J Shipping Service, Lucia L. Desir-John and Barbara Dublin- Peterkin of Beauty Circle and Naturopathic Centre.
Other countries that were represented were Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent, Suriname, Dominica, Grenada and the Bahamas.
According to Desir-John, the goal of the Caribbean Women Entrepreneurs Network mission is to strengthen the voice, visibility and viability of women-led businesses in the Caribbean through advocacy, training, networking, identifying and sharing best practices and the procurement of funds to support the entrepreneurship development of its members.
She explained that at the forum, the women entrepreneurs were connected to the various tools and resources available to the Caribbean from the United States to support women in business.
Ms. Desir-John informed that presentations were made by representatives from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, InfoDEV, International Finance Corporation, Weconnect International and the US Department of State. Additionally, several businesswomen organisations also explained how they functioned to support their members.
She explained that at the end of the forum, a representative from each attending Caribbean nation was selected to represent their respective countries at future WENC events.
An Executive body, which now leads and coordinates the activities of WENC throughout the Region was also established.
Desir-John added that their immediate task is to finalise the structure of the network, recruit new members from the various Caribbean nations and sensitise Public and Private Sector agencies as well as launching the organisation’s website at wencaribbean.org.