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Seven Vincentians receive CED grants

Seven Vincentians receive CED grants

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The Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. (CED), in collaboration with the Organisation of American States (OAS), held a ceremony on Thursday, April 2nd, 2009, at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce Conference Room. The purpose of the ceremony was to present certificates to several prospective and/or entrepreneurs who participated

in the OAS and CED Community Entrepreneurship Training Workshop, under the theme “Reducing Rural Poverty through Entrepreneurial Development” (RRPED).{{more}}

The grant amounted to EC$75,000 and will be used by the awardees to establish and/or improve their businesses.

Grants were awarded to Phillip Anthony (Troumaca), Celitha Browne (Fitz Hughes), Yosiah Dascent (Mespo’), Julian Morris (Couls Hill), Garvin Murray (Mespo’), Lawrence Stephens (Chateaubelair) and Senica Williams (Richland Park).

“Be wise. Use what you have to get what you need,” is the advice from Lawrence Stephens, a Block Maker who started his business from scratch. He is grateful to the OAS and CED for this opportunity to take his business to a higher level. He was informed about the OAS and CED training workshop by a former teacher and participated in the course at the Golden Grove Resource Center in Chateaubelair. He intends to use the grant to remodel his business, buy machinery to enhance production and employ more people in his area. Stephens currently employs ten persons – eight men and two women.

Celitha Browne has a small catering and food vendoring business in Fitz Hughes. She does wedding cakes, pies of all types, and fries and chicken at night. She intends to utilize the funds to expand her business; soon she will be able to purchase a deep fryer. Browne currently works alone. However, she hires assistants when she has a wedding or if there is a ‘Block-O’. She spent a number of years in Barbados and benefited from work and training in food preparation. Browne urges anyone who has skills to use them in order to make a living for themselves. She thanked the CED for the business education workshops and wished that the workshops were longer.

Mohitos is a restaurant and bar jointly owned by Julian Morris and Lloyd Charles. Charles is the Chef and Morris multitasks as a bartender, waiter and manager. It is located in Cumberland and caters to tourists mainly visiting our shores via yachts. Mohitos serves mainly West Indian flavours with an international touch. Morris stated that the grant will enable him to purchase to freezer, cooler and a computer. The computer will be used to give free Internet access to attract customers. Two persons work along with the team. Morris advised prospective entrepreneurs not to become involved in a business that they are impassionate about and to manage their resources wisely.

“A lot depends on you,” said Minister of Telecommunications and Industry, Dr. Jerrol Thompson, to the awardees at the ceremony. He stated that his Ministry plans to reinvigorate areas and that he is extremely pleased with the CED for making significant efforts aimed at alleviating poverty in rural areas. He further stated that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is experiencing significant growth in entrepreneurship, despite the global financial crisis.

According to Dr. Thompson, some $25 million have been credited to small businesses over the years through the Business Gateway Project. He mentioned the Information Communications Technology (ICT) thrust and encouraged all business owners to incorporate ICTs in their businesses, even the poultry farmer.

Minister Thompson encouraged entrepreneurs to utilize their talents to excel in their respective areas and to make sacrifices to ensure that their businesses work. Additionally, Dr. Thompson urged entrepreneurs to be an example to success to persons who may have similar inclinations, and most importantly to be an example of success to the OAS and CED.

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