Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Programme coordinators Junior Mc Intyre, Christopher Roberts, Alice Bain, and Roxanne John at the regional technology conference in Curacao. (Photo courtesy CARCIP)

St Vincent and the Grenadines is making strides towards creating a new cadre of local entrepreneurs.

Vincentians with dreams of developing their own businesses can now apply for government grants covering the cost of business incubation and training services.

The grants, which are targeted specifically at businesses offering technology-enabled services, will offer relevant training to be delivered by locally registered institutions.

The initiative is part of a regional programme that aims to foster a different kind of business acumen among Caribbean entrepreneurs.

The Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) a World Bank-funded project, is being executed in parallel across the Eastern Caribbean.

St Lucia and Grenada, which are also participating in the project, are rolling out similar initiatives.

The task of stewarding the CARCIP initiative across these territories has been entrusted to the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). Alongside the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network and the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority, the CTU has been working with the participating governments and other key stakeholders to support the large-scale regional project.

At the formal launch of the grants in Kingstown recently, CARCIP project coordinator Roxanne John gave an overview of the programme and the grants.

The audience included government and private sector representatives, among them Anthony Regisford, Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce, and Sen. Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Consumer Affairs and Information Technology.

Regisford, in his remarks, highlighted the importance of technology to a range of local businesses and young innovators.

Among the sectors targeted through the CARCIP grants are tourism, information communication technology, agriculture and fisheries, financial sector, construction, manufacturing, health and wellness, and the creative and cultural industries.

Delivering the feature address, Gonsalves encouraged local businesses “to embrace information technology”.

Establishing an online presence or branching out into online commerce can help local businesses to discover untapped regional and international growth markets, he said.

After the official launch, participants were trained on how to use the grants manual, the formal document that will guide them through the process of administering the grants.

The next step will be a call for expressions of interest for business incubators.

3 COMMENTS

  1. My advice, and its far more reliable than the current governments, is do not start any business under the ULP government.

    Wait and see if the government changes, you will be treated with love and respect under an NDP party. Their entropeneur scheme will be many times more beneficial than this offer.

    You have seen how they destroyed Bigger Bigs and his business, they may do the same or worse to you in the future . They will destroy you unless you vote and support them, and continue to do so for the rest of the life of your project. Your children and grand children and mother and father may well be destroyed along with you. Education, jobs, professions, may all be destroyed. This regime is a regime of spite, malice, hate and pure evil, avoid them like the plague.

    The grants which they mention are an attempt to buy your vote, and worse than that your soul. Remember the words “if I practice Obeah, I only do so for the Lord”. Your are dealing with Satan.

  2. I oppose all such grants and initiatives wherever they occur, and believe me they occur mainly in wealthy countries, for several reasons:

    1. they disadvantage already established businesses by unfairly giving a leg-up to potential competitors.

    2. they give governments too much power by placing them in the role of economic gatekeepers.

    3. the end up rewarding mainly the granting agencies and other bureaucracies rather than the recipients of the assistance and training.

    4. Grant agencies and government functionaries are the worst possible entities to pick economic winners and losers. Most of the time they pick losers and ignore potential winners because they don’t have the expertise to know the difference and because nobody knows which projects or businesses will succeed until after the fact.

    5. Governments should put in place liberal economic and business-friendly policies, such as low taxation on business entities and profits, and then get out the way. Let entrepreneurship flourish on its own.

    6. God help us if the NDP does even more of this meddling in the free market if they ever get elected.

  3. Turns out to be another lie. This is a World Bank project which the ULP want to pretend its them again.

    Stay away kids, wait for the real people to help you, you will never regret taking my advice.

    Peter

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