The Ministry of Business intends to address the many challenges currently being faced by the Small Business Bureau (SBB). In its 2016 to 2020 plan, the Ministry outlined several areas inclusive of filling vacant positions which need to be addressed for the Bureau to function properly.
In the final report of the strategic plan, the Ministry said that the Small Business Bureau needs to strengthen its capabilities in policy drafting to foster growth of small businesses as well as monitoring and evaluating its own programmes.
Presently, the Bureau does not have a Chief Executive Officer. However, in addition to filling that post, the Ministry believes that the Bureau needs to hire an expert in the field of economic inclusion who has experience in drafting policies to increase Micro and Small Enterprises’ access to finance, training and public procurement.
Further, the Ministry recommended that a junior professional should be employed at the agency, who has experience in monitoring and evaluation in order to implement a mechanism for evaluation as the current one is not sufficiently effective.
According to the Ministry, some of the weaknesses at the Bureau relates to there not being a functioning council. The report said, “The council is the oversight body of the SBB which provides strategic direction and guidance with respect to programs and policies development and promoted by the SBB.”
The Ministry believes that the absence of the council stands to negatively affect the image of the entity. Further, it was noted that the Bureau since 2014 has been occupying the old Guyana National Cooperative Bank (GNCB) Sports Club building. Since there is no permanent tenancy agreement, this situation has prevented the planning of activities of long proposed programs.
The report said that the Bureau’s operation is centralized to the capital city but provides services across the ten administrative regions. Accessing far flung areas, though facilitated by plane or boat limits service delivery and efficiency.
The staff at the Bureau is said to lack the requisite exposure and further, the complement is limited for the actual implementation and management of the proposed incubatory and Resource Centres proposed over the next five years.
Based on the Small Business Act the bureau is required to provide incentive regimes and support programmes for small businesses. This is to be done by focusing on areas such as access to financing, entrepreneurial development services and advocacy.
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