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Jun 2, 2022

Third Cohort Completes BELTRAIDE’s Female Entrepreneurship Program

This morning at Tower Hill, Orange Walk, a graduating class of businesswomen from northern Belize was recognized by the Government of Belize and the Taiwanese Embassy, for completing several courses that will strengthen their capacity as entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, twelve women enrolled in a program that was offered by BELTRAIDE and today they received certificates for successfully completing the Female Entrepreneurship Program. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Twelve women from Orange Walk and Corozal districts were recognized today for completing a female entrepreneurship program facilitated by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, BELTRAIDE.  In March and April, they were trained on how to develop and validate their business models.  Among the participants were persons from various sectors, including health and wellness, agro-processing, and food and beverage.


Isenia Guerra

Isenia Guerra, Graduate, FEP

“I got started in BELTRAIDE a few years ago.  I used to be a catering business, I used to cater finger foods and foods for same BELTRAIDE, for their seminars.  I started catering for their seminars and I said once to one of the trainers or one of the advisors, I said, “I don’t just want to come here and deliver my food.  I, one day, want to be in that class.”


And that was the impetus for thirty-six-year-old Isenia Guerra to become involved in various programs offered by BELTRAIDE.  In the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, she also began producing her own brand of hot sauce.


Isenia Guerra

“I had some messages from some friends who said, “Isenia, we miss your food.  We miss your sauce.  We miss your taste.”  And I said, “That’s it!”  I’ll start putting out my taste in something that I can just send out, I don’t have to be out there anymore.  So what I did, I said, “Okay, I can do food, I can do meats, I can do sauces.”  And I said, well let me start bottling my sauces, and that’s how I started taking out the sauces out of my home to everyone’s home.”


As the third cohort, Guerra joined eleven other women who attended workshops on legal frameworks for gender equality, women’s human rights, personal and business goals and financial literacy.  It’s part of a regional initiative across Central America that promotes micro, small and medium enterprises.


Dr. Leroy Almendarez

Dr. Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director, BELTRAIDE

“The new knowledge that you have gained, it makes you now even being able to understand the market, how to compete, how to be sustainable in this market and to understand as well that we must understand our market in such a way that we might know when to change what we are doing a bit because that helps us to become more competitive.”


Prime Minister John Briceño was the keynote speaker during the brief commencement exercise.  From his administration’s point of view, empowering women goes beyond entrepreneurship, it also means including them in government.


John Briceño, Prime Minister

“I have always been a proponent of women’s empowerment, that we need to get more women involved.  I was the one that amended the constitution of the People’s United Party, ensuring that we have a minimum of thirty percent participation of women at all levels, from the lowest to the highest.  Are we there?  No we are not, we can do more, but if you were to look at what we’ve been doing as a government, we have been appointing as many women as we possibly can in all levels of government, especially at the level of CEO, ambassadors, in positions of empowerment, important positions where they can help us to be able to develop this country and to move this country forward.”


Isani Cayetano reporting for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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