BASSETERRE (14th January 2022):This week twenty-one (21) local businesses received grants from the United Nations Development Programme – Future Tourism project, which aims at retooling, upscaling and digitizing small business operations. The grants allotted to a total of EC$287,550.
The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME’s) included the following businesses: agro-processing, arts and crafts, beauty and wellness, car rental, cleaning services, farming, fashion, food & beverage, island tour operators and real estate.
Participants enrolled into the programme in June 2021 and attended virtual classes that were conducted by the University of the West Indies and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Carlene Henry-Morton, said her Ministry was very proud to be associated with such a timely project.
“This UNDP programme started during a challenging time when many of our entrepreneurs were struggling with the crippling effects of the pandemic,” Mrs. Morton said. “So indeed, I must congratulate the participants on this outstanding achievement and implore them to use the funds as they are intended to – improve your business to be more sustainable and competitive.”
Participants were trained in Digital Technologies, Financial Planning and Marketing. They were also required to engage in one-on-one mentoring to develop a Business Improvement Plan. Initially 100 persons were registered with 21 successfully completing the programme – 16 from St. Kitts and 5 from Nevis.
The entrepreneurs are required to keep accurate records of expenditures, file regular reports and consult regularly with their mentors.
The Ministry of Tourism looks forward to more initiatives like these that would benefit our small businesses and entrepreneurs, enabling them to compete effectively as the economy continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.