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The government has increased by one-third, taking to EC$3 million, the amount of money allocated to an initiative that gives grant funds to entrepreneurs 40 years and under.

Further, because of the impact of the COVID-19, the Promotion of Youth Microenterprises programme will, this year, consider applications from persons older than 40, in a sort of PRYME+ programme, for which the government had allocated EC$1.5 million.  

Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves said that persons in the cultural and creative industries who have lost income because of the pandemic could apply at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture for income support.

“That’s one set of money. But additionally, you can come to PRYME, which is the entity that delivers; we promote youth entrepreneurship,” he said.

Gonsalves said that persons could apply for grants to retool or to explore a totally different business venture.

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“And there’s a special [amount] set aside within the PRYME umbrella of an additional $350,000 for cultural and creative artists. And you can get anywhere from $2,500 as a grant to $40,000 as a grant.

“If you’re a cultural and creative artist, you may come in. You may say, ‘Look, I want to start a music school because I’m a musician and I want to teach people music.’

You may say, ‘I want to enhance a recording studio.’ You may say, ‘I don’t normally make costumes, but guess what, I think there’s an opportunity now for me to make COVID masks … instead, but I need some money, sewing machine materials.’

“What have you, you can take your talent to PRYME as a cultural and creative artist and get support there.”

He noted that the supplementary budget that parliament approved in April expanded PRYME by EC$1 million, taking the allocation to EC$3 million.

“So this year, if you’re [18 to 40 years old], you have a business idea or you have a business, $3 million is available to you as grant money, you don’t have to pay it back. It’s not a loan…

There’s a wonderful opportunity, if you have a business idea, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit – to get support from PRYME,” Gonsalves said.

He said that the PRYME Steering Committee is considering the first wave of applications and will make a recommendation to Cabinet this week, of the first 40 to 50 recipients of PRYME grants.

“And we anticipate that that will be a monthly occurrence — 50-plus young people receiving grants from PRYME.”

He, however, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting SVG after the announcement of PRYME in February.

He said there are a lot of small business operators whose owners are older than 40 and have been affected by the pandemic.

Among these, he mentioned hair salons, barbershops, food vendors and caterers.

The finance minister said:

“We have essentially what is our PRYME+ of similar support programme for people who don’t fall under the 40-year-old threshold.”

Gonsalves said PRYME will be a year-to-year programme of support but this year, because of the pandemic, it is being expanded PRYME+ to include people who are over 40 and have a small business.

“And we’ve put $1.5 million in the pot for those people. Again, same terms, $2,500 to $40,000 as a grant and I want you to think about all what we just said there,” he said.

3 replies on “Gov’t allocates more grant money for young entrepreneurs”

  1. Lornette walker says:

    Hi good day so after I get the money u would have to be refunding you all back the money u all give out

  2. I hope that you also publish information about how to get a grant and let de target group know what’s going on. There is so much work to be done in SVG and you have a legion of young able-bodied men and women. Every year more are graduating high school. Children who will one day be running things in SVG. Make laws to subsidize school tuition. Give the youth a break.

    There is so much work in public works, cleaning the capital, repairing all the roads and squares, parks, other public areas dilapidated buildings need repair. Clean and paint all public schools. Give the Capital a facelift.
    I was even thinking SVG is ideal for a garment factory or ten. People could be running their own juice factory or making something of their own invention, machine shops, the Arts or technique.

    As this crisis shows us you have to be prepared for the worse. We know that we need more doctors and nurses, lab technicians, engineers, and scientists, and plenty of assistants. Our people don’t need to pin their hopes on leaving the country for a better life. They should have everything they need in SVG.

    I wonder how this summer school vacation season is going to be for the children and young adults. What is the Government doing to encourage or stimulate positive youth development? And, fight crime? What is the government doing to help families who struggling to make end meet? Our children are our most valuable possession. We owe it to them to have good government in this country and to pass on all that we have learned and achieved to them to build upon that.

    Why do we have to be second best at anything? We have a beautiful country, beautiful people, friendly shore and we live in freedom. That in of itself is great motivation. But there is much work to be done. Many social reforms to be implemented so that the people at the bottom can have a life . I hope we could one day see a Nobel laureate or world-class sports personality, critical artiste from among our people. But the way all you governing the place is like a free for all bazaar.

    As a government, you have to make the living conditions in the community comfortable for the people. Implement policies that would benefit every Vincentian worker throughout SVG. Let us see some water desalination plants in the grenadines, that is a good place to start. Make people lives more as it should be in 2020 and beyond.

    Gonsalves you owe the SVG people enough, You done lie so much you have no shame, give back to the people what is rightfully theirs. And don’t do as if you doing them a favor. The scandalous way that you are handling the diaspora sailors who are paying tax in SVG and whose families depend on them and miss them, to refuse to let these people come home in this difficult time is plain fucking wicked.

  3. At least this is something positive…if it works. All these years the government has been just taking and taking our money. At least, if it works, some young people will have a chance at opportunity. We do not want to ask where this money comes from, because for it to exist they have taken it from those of us that are working. That is why I say: “if it works”. To take money from working people and give it to people that refuse to work is one of the main problems of socialism. This is at least slightly different.

    OPPORTUNITY…something that we have very little of for most of the people.

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