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80 PRYME candidates set to receive grants today

80 PRYME candidates set to receive grants today
Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves


The first batch of 80 recipients of PRYME and PRYME+ grants will be announced today, at 10 am at the Foreign Affairs Conference Room.

In a post of his Facebook page on May 18, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said the recipients in the Promotion of Youth Microenterprises (PRYME) program are from over 50 villages from Sandy Bay to Friendship, Bequia.

They will each receive grants between $2,500 and $40,000.

“They are landscapers, block makers, farmers, caterers, entertainers, bakers, popsicle-makers, shopkeepers, mechanics, agro processors, auto detailers, educators, computer programmers, customs brokers, veterinarians, pest controllers, musicians, accountants, manufacturers, designers, and so much more,” the minister said.

“… Over half a million dollars in grants will be placed directly in the hands of young entrepreneurs. Congratulations!”

Gonsalves said, adding that hundreds of applications for the program keep flowing in.

Other recipients, numbering more than 40 will be announced in the upcoming weeks, the minister said.

PRYME, first announced during the Budget address, was launched on March 17 and is being fast tracked as one of the stimulus measures in the face of the economic fallout expected in the face of COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative has been introduced to fill a gap in the programs already made available to entrepreneurs.

“We thought that the one area where the gap existed was on the very small end of the business scale. There’re a lot of young people out there who doing a little hustling or have a little idea that is not a massively expensive idea to implement but it is still beyond their means,” the finance minister explained during the launch.

The programme is financed by central Government through an annual resource allocation of EC$2.4 million.

PRYME is an ongoing program without a set deadline, the Minister indicated at the launch.

The program was initially designed for entrepreneurs under the age of 40, but since the launch, additional funding of EC$1.5 million has been allocated in a program called PRYME+ for entrepreneurs over the age of 40 years.

Application forms are available online, or at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, InvestSVG, the Centre for Enterprise Development, the ministry of economic planning, and the Office of the Prime Minister.

The applications will be assessed by a steering committee, chaired by the Executive Director of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Anthony Regisford.

The Committee will also include representation from InvestSVG, the Centre for Enterprise Development (CED), the Ministry of Labour, the SVG Community College, and the St Vincent and the Grenadines National Centre of Technological Innovation Inc (NCTI).