In Guyana, the life of a single parent is difficult
and has many challenges, and Government in its
programme for the social sector, has continuously
paid attention to single parent women, whose
limited household income and scope of
responsibility for the upbringing of a child or
children make them especially in need of targeted
interventions and financial support.
Public or Social assistance is one option available
to single parent women. However, over 75% of the
women who have been placed on Public assistance
are still receiving after 4 yrs. Social Workers
complain of the women’s reluctance or lack of
motivation to attend training programs or
maintain employment.
The Women of Worth Microfinance program is a
Public/Private Partnership between the Ministry
of Human Services and Social Security and the
Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry Ltd (GBTI).
It was established with the fundamental aims of:
 Removing the barriers single parent women
face, enhance their self esteem,
 empower them to take advantage of the
economic opportunities around them and
 Heighten their participation in society.
GBTI has provided G$500 million dollars and
the Government of Guyana will provide G$50
million dollars per annum to administer this
Financing, from a minimum of $100,000 to a
maximum of $250,000, is offered on an
unsecured basis to individuals.
The interest rate applicable to the loan is 6%
per annum, not exceeding twenty-four (24)
months; inclusive of a moratorium of three (3)
to six (6) months as necessary.
To improve the socioeconomic status of women in
Guyana, promote their active participation and
integration in national development and
contribute towards poverty reduction; thereby
stimulating micro and macro economic growth.
Provide access to financial resources and business
development intervention to female single parents
desirous of pursuing small business ventures.
Act as a catalyst in creating an enabling
environment (via Community Development
Programmes) which allows people at community
levels to take advantage of economic
Increase women’s mobility, security, self esteem
and participation in decision making process at a
micro and macro levels.
Must be over 18 years but under 60 years of age
Must be a single parent
Must have some level of training and/or skills
Must not be earning more than G$35,000.00
(US$175) per month
Minimum Loan Amount - $100,000.00 (500 usd)
Maximum Loan Amount - $250,000.00 (1250 usd)
2 year repayment period
Clothing/garment manufacturing
Poultry rearing
Grocery shops
Packaged spices
Leather/general craft
Retail Clothes vending
Natural Fruit Juices
Ground seasoning
Pre-school/Day Care
Newspaper vending
Phone cards retailing
Beverage retailing
Psychosocial support is critical to the success of
micro financed businesses,
Basic money management training must be a
pre-requisite for financing,
Constant monitoring and guidance during the
first six (6) months can determining the success
or failure of a venture,
Identification of potential markets
Applicants must understand that Capital
should not be used to satisfy physiological
Collateral requirement greatly reduces rate of
Moratoriums also improves the repayment rate
of beneficiaries
Not everyone has the drive and discipline to be
an entrepreneur.
A saving component should be mandatory.
Over 1200 households, 2000 female single
parents and 5000 children have benefitted from
72 second time borrowers, 23 third time
borrowers and 11 fourth time borrowers in the
30 months since the program was launch
More than 300 persons have been employed by
the beneficiaries.