Tuesday October 7th was very symbolic in St. Kitts & Nevis as it saw CEQUIP, the first SIDF-SEED incubated, small business in Nevis, celebrate its 1-year Anniversary. Last year, Mr. Carl Liburd, Owner and Managing Director of CEQUIP, a small, construction equipment, rental company, as they would say in business lingo, threw back his doors for business. And as his clientele began growing, and day-by-day, as he rented another bull float, or a pair of scaffolding, and then, 100 jacks, to be followed by a compactor, we all knew that Mr. Liburd’s business would be successful.
The SEED Program is an initiative of SIDF that offers tremendous opportunities and benefits for persons with creative business ideas and the ideals required to mobilize said concepts. The Program starts with four weeks of Training, where participants are exposed to key business courses, all delivered from a practical perspective, by trained Lecturers and business professionals. Some seminars include Accounts, Marketing, Business Law, Customer Service, Finance, etc. The participants are then assisted in conducting extensive research that helps to assess whether or not their business model can be viable. This is followed by the business plan development stage, where they are again guided by experienced Facilitators.
Subsequent to successfully presenting their business plans, candidates are seeded or incubated. In this phase, up to EC $100, 000 is appropriated as a loan at 0%, with varying moratoria granted, based on the type of business. Then, for the first year thereafter, the new businesses are supported by a Professional Accounting Firm and Business Consultant/Coach, free of charge (sponsored by SIDF). Put succinctly, the SIDF SEED Program is everyone’s dream financing program.
In giving brief remarks, Mr. Liburd opened by thanking the SIDF for helping to make his business dream come through. He then extended his gratitude to his many clients, without whom he stated “there would be no CEQUIP.” Next, he went on to register his appreciation to some of his colleagues from the first SIDF SEED cohort. Present to share in his moment were Mr. Mackie Tross of A-Farms, Mr. Kerrio Bartlette of HiTek, Ms. Calette James of Tip Toes Nail Spa and Beauty Haven, and Mr. Carl Tyson of Caribbean Digital Displays, all seeded businesses in Nevis.
To demonstrate his sincerest appreciativeness for his clients, Mr. Liburd then had a raffle, where three lucky persons won a Dinner for Two at Riviere House, a Gift Certificate at Tip Toes Nail Spa and Beauty Haven, and a Gift Coupon from TDC Home & Building Depot. At the end, Clive Evelyn won the Dinner for Two, Noel Watts the Gift Certificate from Tip Toes, and Dominique Honders, the Gift Coupon from TDC.
Actually, Ms. Honders was on hand for the prize giving and spoke highly of Mr. Liburd and CEQUIP. She noted that “Mr. Liburd has always gone far beyond what I had expected. Thus, I am very, very satisfied with the service provided, and I highly recommend Mr. Liburd and CEQUIP to everyone.”