MoPT’s programmes foster growth of new enterprises

The Ministry of Public Telecommunications (MoPT) will continue to work with young entrepreneurs to assist them in bringing their products to markets and eventually to monetize them.

This pronouncement was made by Minister of Public Telecommunications, Catherine Hughes during a recent interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI). It was highlighted that Hackathon and CODESPRINT competitions facilitated by the ministry led to the establishment of several new entrepreneurial ventures.

Among these was IntellectStorm who created two websites; (1) www.directory.gy which provided directions for events and other locations during the Jubilee celebrations, and (2) www.payments.gy that allows users to pay for commodities online using GTT’s Mobile Money service.

Version 75, the winners of the 2016 Hackathon, developed a product that allows citizens to electronically alert relevant government agencies about issues that face communities, such as crime, damaged roads, burst water mains, power outages, etc. The winners of the 2017 CODESPRINT, InnoSys, developed an online Agricultural Commodities Exchange to match buyers and sellers of agricultural products. This group also designed an online Tax Collection and Payments System specifically for the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils.

Minister Hughes also cited the example of three enterprising young women who created online sites to advertise their products, “one young lady sells tamarind balls online to the diaspora, another in Surama sells her hand-made hammocks and a woman is selling and promoting her fruit delivery service online,” Minister Hughes said.

She also highlighted that over 300 students and Information Communication Technology (ICT) enthusiasts attended and participated the Ministry’s Internet Week seminars which were conducted by the best ICT experts in the Caribbean and Guyana. According to Minister Hughes, during this period, two digital entrepreneurs designed local versions of ‘Uber’ for Guyanese to book taxis via their mobile phones. Another local entrepreneur, WeOwnSpace conceived and executed ‘DevX 2017’, a digital exposition highlighting the work and products of local ICT entrepreneurs and their products.

In 2018, the Public Telecom-Ministry in collaboration with the ICT stakeholder community will continue to host a series of Hackathons, as well as CODESPRINT competitions, to identify talented persons who could be encouraged to establish their own startup businesses. The objective of these competitions is to test the knowledge of the participants and have them find solutions to social problems using technology.

Source: Gabreila Patram – DPI