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The PRYME programme – A welcome hand up

The PRYME programme – A welcome hand up

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This week, the PRYME programme, an initiative of the government which provides grant funding to entrepreneurs awarded the first $600,000 of the $4.85 million budgeted for this year.

We are particularly heartened by the concept behind the PRYME programme, which seeks to boost the micro business sector and get our people to work, especially given a growing sense of entitlement that we have observed in some quarters.

It is an attitude that the responsibility for one’s welfare lies with someone else, some institution, some government, and that no matter what we get, we ought to demand more.

These observations are being made in light of the effects of COVID -19 and our attempts both to cope with the immediate impact as well as chart our way out of the present crisis. It is undisputed that the pandemic has affected us, and the rest of the world significantly, some worse than others, and that in situations like these, it is the poor, the aged, the disadvantaged and children who suffer most.

Relatively speaking, thus far, we have been somewhat fortunate in terms of the health and economic impact of COVID-19 on our society.

But we cannot rely on good fortune alone to tide us through the difficulties of life, nor can we simply feel that it is the responsibility of others, not ourselves to chart us through rough waters.

In that context we must appreciate every bit of assistance we get, try to make maximum use of it, avoiding waste, and play our part in contributing to our survival and recovery. Lots of hard work and sacrifice are needed on the part of others in order to assist us, so we must ask ourselves what is our contribution to the effort.

Over the years we have enjoyed the fruits of the efforts of various governments in disaster management and building resilience. The current government has much to its credit in this regard and must be congratulated for its leadership in times of crisis. However there is one worrying aspect of its approach that needs to be addressed. It is a sense of giving the impression that government can do it all, that one only has to call and Big Daddy will provide.

This feeds the sense of unrealistic expectations and fuels the feeling of entitlement. It has reached the stage where even before saying thanks, we begin to demand more. We have to realize that we too have a responsibility for our own safety, well-being and the future of our country. We cannot allow ourselves to become permanent recipients without making our own contribution to our future. Our government needs to hammer home this message to complement its own efforts.

That is why in the current circumstances, we are particularly heartened by the concept behind the PRYME programme. Our country cannot develop based on handouts alone, we all need to make sacrifices and adopt positive attitudes to work and productivity if we are to succeeed.

We hope that objective criteria are applied in the award of the PRYME grants, that the necessary support is given to the aspiring business people to increase their chances of success and that the recipients recognise their good fortune comes as a result of someone else’s hard work and they therefore ought not to squander the opportunity, but make it work for the betterment of the entire country.

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