Movement launched to bring E-commerce to Guyana

Selling local products and services to a global market will drastically change the way business is done in Guyana.

Currently, there are numerous financial restrictions in Guyana, preventing local entrepreneurs from tapping into the international market to promote their products and services.

PayPal, one of the most widely used and accepted payment processors globally, is unable to get the licence to operate within Guyana because of the unavailability of legislation, even in the recently passed Telecommunications Bill.

The Guyana Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) – a group of Guyanese entrepreneurs – is pushing for the inclusion of an Electronic Transactions Act in the recent Telecommunications Act in order to have the requisite legal framework in place to allow local businesses to extend their reach beyond the country’s borders.

“Opening payment gateways can prove to be a game-changer for local businesses; as well as the youth population. Being able to sell your product or service to a global market can mean the difference between scaling the business and closing up shop. Even more pertinent is the opportunity of the freelance economy and what it means for the youth of Guyana,” the organisation noted.

GEN said the Telecommunications Act needs updating to ensure the needs of entrepreneurs are met.

The group is presently conducting a survey to solicit feedback from fellow and aspiring entrepreneurs in order to make a presentation to be submitted to the Telecommunications Ministry for the inclusion of the Electronic Transaction Act in the Bill.

GEN pointed out that 37 per cent of the Guyanese population is online, and that the worth of the global ecommerce market stood at 22 trillion as July 2016.

The organisation said it already met with Business Minister Dominic Gaskin and Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes as well as representatives of the Bank of Guyana and the US Embassy to pitch their proposal.

“All are in agreement that this initiative is necessary and important, not only for entrepreneurs, but for all Guyanese. All have communicated their commitment in making this a reality,” GEN noted.

According to its social media page, GEN was founded in June with the intention to empower entrepreneurs to reach their full potential, to cultivate an environment where businesses can succeed, to connect various elements of the business community, to serve as a business catalyst and to foster a vibrant and inter-connected business community where collaboration increases capacity, education enhances ability, and advocacy influences authority.

Persons desirous of joining this movement can complete the simple survey at: (Devina Samaroo)