Case Study Highlights Impact of Guyana’s Centre for Local Business Development

August 14, 2020

The Centre for Local Business Development, launched by ExxonMobil and managed by DAI, has assisted Guyanese businesses to benefit from the country’s newly developed oil and gas resources since 2017. A new case study, presented at last month’s Society of Petroleum Engineers’ virtual International Conference on Health, Safety, Environment, and Sustainability, outlines the strategies behind the Centre’s success supporting economic inclusion in Guyana.

Authors Treacy Roberts (Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited) and Patrick Henry (DAI) discuss how collaborative, adaptive partnerships helped the Centre foster local content—the added economic and social value the oil and gas industry can bring to a host community. Early intervention in local capacity building enabled local companies in Guyana, a developing market with little business infrastructure, to enter the industry’s value chain.

“The Centre for Local Business Development is working to ensure that Guyanese firms and its economy broadly can grow along with the country’s oil and gas sector,” says Henry, Senior Director of Supplier Development for DAI’s Sustainable Business Group. “We hope the lessons shared in this case study can inform other projects seeking to implement sustainable local content strategies that deliver real development impact.”

44929544_483475548724886_388141185291517952_o.jpgSince 2017, the Centre has provided services such as mentoring and networking opportunities for Guyanese businesses.

The 2015 discovery of offshore oil and gas reserves had the potential to transform the country and its economy, but most Guyanese companies had limited exposure to international standards for business processes, quality assurance, and safety culture. ExxonMobil partnered with DAI to establish the Centre to spur development of small and medium-sized enterprises and drive inclusive economic growth in Guyana.

DAI manages the Centre—located in Georgetown, Guyana—and focuses on three areas: supplier engagement and registration, general business support, and supplier development. The Centre has grown to offer a supplier registration portal, business courses, computer-based training, networking and mentoring opportunities, and a health, safety, security, and environmental (HSSE) management program.

The case study points out that in countries like Guyana, where industrial development is limited, it is important to understand the local supply chain and initiate interventions to support suppliers as early as possible. The Centre’s unprecedented launch before ExxonMobil’s final investment decision meant that Guyanese businesses could start learning about oil and gas and start bidding for contracts rapidly.

The Centre also benefited from testing initiatives and adapting to the needs of local suppliers, operators, and primate contractors. Future programs, motivated by feedback from participants, include working with banks on access to financing and launching an accelerator program for historically disadvantaged businesses.

To date, more than 600 businesses have a contract or purchase order from ExxonMobil and its prime contractors. The Centre is poised to evolve with the local economy and industry to help sustain Guyana’s economic growth.

The full case study is available here.



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