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Rural Development Through Entrepreneurship


One of the challenges of governments particularly in underdeveloped and developing countries is to reduce the number of persons living in poverty.

It has been estimated that some 75% of the world’s poor live in rural areas hence the need for governments and their partners to create opportunities to foster the economic well being of residents living in these communities. {{more}}One of the United Nations’ Millennium Declaration is to half the proportion of the world’s population living in poverty and whose income is less than one dollar a day by the year 2015. Generally, rural communities are not the hub of entrepreneurial and economic activities and those that occur are to a large degree directly or indirectly related to the production of agricultural crops and animal husbandry.

In many rural communities here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines these agricultural related economic activities are often affected by no access to capital; the size of plots of land which in most cases are extremely small; lack of available labour with consequent high prices; costly inputs; low productivity; theft of products and unpredictable weather conditions. In addition there are few persons who see what they do as having the ability to create wealth.

The need to survive is accorded greater importance and hence little attention is paid to the development of these initiatives into ventures that can take advantage of market opportunities. The question therefore is, how can rural communities access skills development opportunities that would strengthen entrepreneurial initiatives and help them to transform and diversify their current micro and small sized businesses into enterprises that are more productive, modern and market-oriented?

The Centre for Enterprise Development has been providing a big part of the answer to this question through its Community Programme for Entrepreneurship Development (CPED). Our CPED Programmes which are held in various communities throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines have the ability to help poor people grow out of poverty.

By providing training in Entrepreneurship Development, CPED strengthens the entrepreneurial capabilities of rural residents, empowers them to start up new businesses, take advantage of market opportunities, improve the operations of existing businesses and improve the income of their families and their communities. Communities’ involvement in CPED enables them to develop a vision for their community as they start new ventures. Rural communities learn not only how they can identify, access and utilise their local resources but also resources at the national level.

Entrepreneurs learn the importance of networking. Through CPED, the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. allows rural communities an opportunity to develop and participate in national economic development. Submitted by the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. First Floor Methodist Building, Granby Street, Kingstown. Tel: (784) 451-2235-6 Fax: (784) 451-2237 Email: [email protected] or [email protected]