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The Institute of Private Enterprise and development (IPED) celebrated its 25th anniversary yesterday with its founder and Chairman, Dr Yesu Persaud highlighting the challenges the company has faced and the key role it continues to play in re-energising the private sector.Starting with one staff member and a handful of clients in 1985, IPED has become a lifeline for Guyanese entrepreneurs?from farmers to struggling single-parent women?who yearn to start their own successful business.Dr Yesu PersaudTo date, IPED has disbursed 78,134 loans with a value of $16.7B to more than 30,000 enterprises.?It has been a challenging thing, seeing something start from nothing to something that is the pride of Guyana,? Dr. Persaud said, while speaking to journalists yesterday in the Demerara Distilleries Limited boardroom.?We are multi-racial. We don?t look at faces (of potential clients).We are not selling politics. What we are selling is that we want people to help themselves.?Reflecting on how IPED came into being, Dr. Persaud said that Guyana went through ?harrowing times?,[url=http://www.wholesalejerseyssale.us@#$%&/]Cheap NFL Jerseys China[/url], during the seventies and eighties, when the economy was on the verge of collapse due to poor economic policies.?The economic downslide came after the state had nationalised businesses bauxite and sugar. Taking over a company is great in concept, but you have to manage those companies.?For the first few years things went reasonably well, but ?erosion? started to take place around 1979.?By 1980, Guyana was on its knees, and a couple of years later Mr. Burnham had to ban everything because there was no foreign exchange.??The various companies owned by the state started to get into major problems. The wrong people were in the wrong jobs. This happened then (and) it?s happening now too.?Dr. Persaud said that things began to improve somewhat when President Desmond Hoyte changed the economic policies. It was around that time that Dr. Persaud began to think of setting up an institution that would assist in the revival of the business sector.?In 1985, I decided to stay in Guyana. I said if the economy is to be freed up, there is need for an institution to help people to help themselves. That was when the concept of IPED came up.?I decided to see Mr. Hoyte. I gave him the concept, to start an institution that would lend funds to small businesses and entrepreneurs who have ideas.?He said ?I can?t give you any money, the country is bankrupt.??I said I?m not asking you for any money. I will find the funds.?According to him, President Hoyte was enthused with the idea.On January 10, 1985, the company, known then as the Institute of Small Enterprise Development, was launched at the Pegasus.The IPED Chairman recalled that there were quite a few persons in the business sector who felt that the concept was doomed for failure.?We invited the remnants of the business sector and all the political parties and corporation heads.Then we approached a number of friends overseas, and were promised financial assistance.?At the launching, we were able to raise some funds, but not what we wanted.?There were many Jeremiahs who said ?you going to waste our money. They gave the names of similar businesses that failed, but that didn?t deter me.?We raised half a million dollars, which in 1986, was a lot of money, mostly from friends overseas. We put it in a bank account and approached institutions of lending in the US, Canada, and the UK.?On April 1, 1986, the Institute of Small Business Development opened its doors at Lot 240 Camp Street, Georgetown.There was one staff member, who performed several functions, including that of manager, accountantand office assistant.IPED also received financial assistance from lending agencies in the US, Canada and the United Kingdom.?That was the beginning of IPED. The first years we did 35 loans,[url=http://www.wholesalenfljerseyssale.us@#$%&/]Wholesale Jerseys[/url], and all those people repaid their loans.?Dr Persaud said that the essence of IPED is not to give free money.?If you give free money, people have no vested interest and they not going to repay. We observed all the laws of credit.?We, the directors,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysshare.us@#$%&/]Wholesale China Jerseys[/url], are not paid a penny. We would provide free services. And I am proud to say that after 25 years, we have granted 78,000 loans, valued at $16B or $17B, helping between 20,000 to 30,000 entrepreneurs.?I am proud to say that we are still in business and today, IPED stretches all across the country, from Crabwood Creek to Region Nine.??Today,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysshare.us@#$%&/]Cheap Jerseys[/url], I am very pleased to say that IPED is self-supportive…and doesn?t borrow from any source anymore…?Over the years we have weathered many storms, and we came out with flying colours.?Noting that the company has succeeded ?beyond our wildest imaginations,? Dr. Persaud revealed that IPED,[url=http://www.wholesalejerseyssale.us@#$%&/]China Jerseys Wholesale[/url], with a staff of 86, now has assets of $2.1billion.?Starting from scratch with almost nothing, we have created and sustained thousands of jobs.?The IPED chairman said that the company has financed some 20 percent of the nation?s small farmers, including those with kitchen gardens farmers have been financed over the years.?When we started this whole concept we insisted that we provide management services, technical services, and book-keeping services free of cost, and that, I think,[url=http://www.cheapjerseysfan.us@#$%&/]Jerseys NFL Wholesale[/url], has been the bedrock of our success.?And every now and then we get specialists to go out in the field especially in agriculture.?Dr Persaud revealed that IPED helped to sustain these farmers during the El Nino and La Nina period in 1997 and 1998, and also when the 2005 decimated crops and livestock.He noted that there has been an increase in the number of women who have approached IPED for loans.?And what gives us a greater pleasure is many single mothers, who have to strive on their own with very little income, have come to us to…and today, many of these mothers are self-sustaining, and can send their children to school.?He said that one of the company?s directors estimates that through its clients, IPED contributes about three percent to the nation?s GDP.But he stressed that would-be clients go through an intensive screening process, before being approved.Only about two percent of IPED?s clients fail to repay their loans. In extreme cases, the company has had to take some defaulters to court.?We started at a time when everybody said it was impossible, but we have succeeded beyond wildest expectations.?I have seen six institutions fail…that came and thought that they could put us out of business.?We wanted to help the poorest of the poor…if you don?t help poor people to develop themselves, they remain stagnant. If you can help a family out of poverty to start something,[url=http://www.cheapestnfljerseys.us@#$%&/]Cheap Jerseys From China[/url], then it is something good that you are doing.?