It is important to note that the majority of our population just wants a decent stable income which can fund their own “good” life.
Given the recent government encouragements for persons to pursue entrepreneurship, it would be good to determine what the incentives are.
The failure rate among startups is very high (80% in first 5 years), one possible stimulant could be a significant reduction in self-employed taxes. This would also encourage a higher level of compliance and allow existing self-employed to hire more employees. This then becomes an employment generation tool. Providing tax incentives for additional employees hired could also reduce unemployment.
A comprehensive education reform initiative that refocuses our education system to meet the demands of the future will result in us generating employees for future sectors.
Understanding that sound entrepreneurship requires as much education as any other respectable field is the first step towards ensuring that aspiring entrepreneurs not only remain in business but also grow revenues, employ persons and pay their fair share of taxes.
We can not continue to see entrepreneurship as an avenue for dropouts, unemployment solution or even as a basic self employment mechanism. Business is competitive and can easily result in a significant disadvantage to such entrepreneurs who have to compete against competent national and international rivals. Even our established businesses in Guyana are feeling the squeeze when pitted against such competition. Whilst healthy competition can be beneficial, the lack of urgency in seeking the required business education and support may leave us with a vastly different (good or bad) economic structure in the future.