…………………….with grassroot consultancy firm
Former Regional Chairman Sharma Solomon, who is widely known for his grassroot mobilization efforts, which in the past, have brought many solutions to issues affecting the common man, the neglected communities and the minority groups, is now back in the streets, consolidating with communities to create change. Now that he is out of political office, Solomon remains committed to grassroot empowerment and has initiated a consultancy firm called Market Square Inc, which allows him to hit the streets again, but this time, not as a politician, but as an advocate.
Market Square Inc. (M.S.I) is a nonpartisan strategic consulting firm, which focuses on advocacy grassroots mobilization, strategic public imaging, branding and marketing, works with political organizations at both the national and local level, support the work of NGOs and conducts data analysis and research for organizations. It also provides an online market space to accommodate businesses by promoting their products, services and customer relationship by bringing together the buyers and vendors in one space.
Solomon said that while the company is new, the over 20 years of experience he has in grassroot mobilization, along with his partners, one of whom is former Member of Parliament Vanessa Kissoon, it can be the real game changer for communities, the grassroot population and businesses who need an avenue to be promoted or heard. “Market Square Inc. was founded by individuals who worked in the area of government and governance at both the local and national levels. It began as a small strategic consultancy group to advise businesses on how to improve their images through the grassroots of communities” he said.
In 2021, the company officially registered to advance in the areas of several additional services, to give consideration for the new emerging sectors in Guyana and political dynamics that they are faced with.
The core purpose of M.S.I., is to promote a standard of service that is built on ethics and the pursuit of just society, in advocacy and lobbying through the experience and reputation of its members, our fellows and the companies we choose to work with. “At M.S.I, we seek to encourage our audience be it government or non-governmental or community, to adapt to our services, especially at grassroots level, by tailoring our appeal to support their desires.”
While MSI is not limited to providing its services to businesses and organizations in Region 10, the aim is to promote the idea of enterprising and entrepreneurship, self-help and networking, amongst communities and businesses in the region, so that diversification of the its economy can be recognised at these levels, given the scaling down of bauxite mining, which was once the main economic activity. “The reason for M.S.I. as a strategic consultancy company is to enter the market with specific emphasis of promotion of goods and services at the grassroots level and to bring awareness of issues, that will gain favourable policy outcomes. In order to accomplish this, strategic plan of action is established and executed through community engagement, data collection and research, with specific tactics varying from client to client,” Solomon affirmed.
Given the political status quo, the grassroot persons have expressed their feelings of disconnect from institutions and officials, that can improve their socio-economic standing. The strategies of MSI help to structure and advance public policies on those communities’ behalf.
Since the launch of the business, Solomon and his partners have been consolidating with communities through hosting of community grassroot meetings, which saw several social and economic issues being raised. MSI has also worked in the area of community self-help clean up campaigns in collaboration with government and non-governmental agencies, the promotion of student activism through the campaign planning and management of the Student Action Movement at the University of Guyana, which has produced the President of student body. It has also conducted research in the area of the foreign policy impact on the domestic political structures of Guyana. “MSI is currently working with two new companies which are Village Voice and INFO 10 Media, to promote “Community Grassroots Grounding” engagements which helps to promote the brand at the grass root level. Work to identify vendors and a subscription system, build a data base and run data analysis on information obtained, along with conducting of research to help give guidance on how these companies can be effective in the delivery of service to their target audience.
Some of the broad services offered by MSI include research for university students and other organizations, advocacy Messaging, Digital Market Platform/Place, international Relations: Analyze and evaluate the politics and business climate of the international environment with regards to the conduct of business in Guyana with representatives who possess a background in both business and political arena especially at the grassroots level, Human Resource Management, Data Analysis, Citizens Mobilization Campaign Management, Crafting strategic campaign management initiatives for individuals, organizations, Community Mobilisation and Connection amongst others. Being an advocate for grassroot empowerment,
Solomon said MSI will ensure that they receive accurate, a better understanding and appreciation of issues at government and non-governmental that requires their participation in helping to shape public policy and outcome.