“Business training is important; do not be intimidated by technology” – Minister Gaskin tells Financial Literacy and Small Business Training Programme grads

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin with graduands, representatives of the Ministry of Education including Director of Youth Melissa Carmichael and Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, Aubrey Norton.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin on Thursday, June 1, 2017 delivered the Charge and Closing Remarks to the graduating class of the Financial Literacy and Small Business Training Programme facilitated by Office of the Presidential Advisor on Youth Empowerment, at the National Racquet Centre- Woolford Avenue. He encouraged students to understand a business’ functions, the basic calculations necessary, the need to pay taxes and understand operating expenses, budgeting and the limitless possibilities of technology.

Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin told students, “Anything to do with business is important – including training; you need to understand the financial aspects of running a business, how to plan and know some basic calculations that tell you what your profit is.”

He told students that linked to profit is knowing how much taxes to pay. “I hope that in this training you were taught about taxes and the importance of paying taxes on time and the importance of filing tax returns,” Minister Gaskin said.

Minister Gaskin told those gathered profits are also linked to how much money you can afford to take out of a business. “If you draw out more than your profits then you will end up not being able to meet your operating expenses; be in debt or unable to produce. Work with budgets in your business.”

He stated that student need to have an idea of what kind of business they wanted to get into, spending some time exploring options.

Additionally, Minister Gaskin pointed to how internationally technology start-ups are leading the way but here in Guyana this is not yet a common choice for young entrepreneurs. “I would say to you that this is an area with limitless possibilities,” he stated. “Do not be intimidated by technology, find a way to apply technology to what you do in business. And I can’t think of any business that you can’t improve through the use of technology,” Minister Gaskin told students.

Minister Gaskin stated that technology had led to precision agriculture where data analysis let farmers be more precise, reducing expenses and allowing them to be competitive. He said students should innovate through developing apps. “Writing apps is an area of business for which there is a lot of scope in Guyana. Many apps are simple and easy to use. You can find an app to help you create a business plan, financial projections, balance accounts or to calculate monthly repayments on loans.”

He told students, “My message to you today is simple. You’ve successfully completed the first step of a journey that can take you places beyond your wildest dreams. You now have to take the second and third steps to put you on the right path. Today’s world is technology driven and if you want your journey towards success to be a smooth one you have to learn and embrace modern technology from now.”

Additionally, Minister Gasking stated, “Start getting your ideas crystallized and documented so you can share them whenever the opportunity arises. You never know when an opportunity may arise for you to share your business proposal with someone who may be in a position to help you, make sure you’re always prepared.”

“Congratulations on successfully completing your training. Our government will continue to place great emphasis on ensuring that our young people are equipped with the skills needed for economic empowerment. And this is just another manifestation of that commitment,” Minister Gaskin told students.

The event saw 25 young students graduate who came from several regions across Guyana and underscored Government’s commitment to empowering young people through education and training.