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$20 million in line for Private Sector

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Small to medium size enterprises in St. Vincent and the Grenadines stand to benefit from over EC$20M worth of assistance over the next few years.

This support comes through three European Union projects that seek to promote the development of alternative economic activities in agricultural and other productive sectors.{{more}}

The projects will look at aspects of private sector development including leadership development, business skills development, capacity building, information communication technologies, the legislative and regulatory framework and business oriented e-government initiatives and networking.

“This is the first time private sector development will be addressed in such a comprehensive way.” This is the view of Felix Lewis, General Manager of the Centre for Enterprise Development (CED).

In an interview with Searchlight Business, Lewis revealed that under the project, a new building will be constructed at Murray Road to house the National Institute of Technology and the Centre for Enterprise Development, in addition to a business incubator facility. The business incubator facility will support 27-30 businesses set up as part of the project.

The incubator will for a period of time, provide start-up businesses with support services, office space, office equipment, access to a phone, fax, etc and a salary.

Lewis noted that special attention will be paid to non-traditional businesses such as music, art or fashion design. As far as possible, businesses will be encouraged to use ICT to enhance their competitiveness.

In addition to this, the CED will act as a virtual incubator for homebased businesses not physically located in the incubator. They, too, will be able to access the support services offered by the project.

At present, the CED from its office in the Methodist Church building, provides training and business support services to small to medium size enterprises. Their library and resource center are, for a small fee, available for use by business persons needing to do research.

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