Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 14, 2016 (SKNIS): The Government of National Unity is continuing its support of entrepreneurs in the Federation through various initiatives carried out by the small business arm of Government, the National Entrepreneurial Development Division (NEDD).
During his address for this month’s Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), Minister of International Trade, Industry, Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Lindsay Grant, stated that in 2015, the government assisted 151 entrepreneurs in the area of duty free concession, business plan development and facilitation of workshops and consultations. To date, 2016, the government has surpassed that total, assisting 163 entrepreneurs.
The minister said that through the government’s help, there has been a rise in a wide variety of business sectors.
“We have seen the emergence of innovative businesses in areas such as food and beverage, construction businesses, tourism related entities, new techniques in agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing and so much more,” said the minister.
The minister said that the scope of small businesses, which has been positively affected by government’s fostering in 2016, includes Transport with a total of 22 entrepreneurs, Light Manufacturing, 15; Construction Services, 20; Food and Beverage, 22; Sports and Entertainment, 15; Retailing, 23; Agriculture, 19; and Tourism-related Services, 17.
Minister Grant stated that the government will also continue to facilitate and foster the development and growth of the small and medium sized sector through initiatives such as the Fresh Start Programme. He said that there is no doubt that the government “will continue to see these initiatives bear entrepreneurial fruit as the global economy beckons for greater entrepreneurship activity.”
The minister reported that, to date, the government, through the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis’ Fresh Start Program, has assisted and approved 243 loans for entrepreneurs.
“This assistance in the amount of $20 million has further stimulated the small business sector, empowered our locals and provided jobs,” he said. “As Minister responsible for small business development, I will continue to ensure that the voice of this sector is heard and is impactful. Through the National Entrepreneurial Development Division (NEDD) and other strategic partners locally, regionally and internationally, we will continue to provide the technical support that is needed for growth and development.”