BASSETERRE: Aspiring entrepreneurs in St. Kitts & Nevis will soon be given a one-of-a kind opportunity to realize their dream.
The St. Kitts & Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has announced the launching of the Small Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development (SEED) program.
The program, promised by Prime Minister Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, has been designed by SIDF to assist in creating innovative, commercial ventures that have the potential to become profitable.
The SIDF has committed EC$5 million to the SEED fund to finance start-up businesses by granting loans ranging from EC$5,000 to EC$100,000 at a zero per cent interest rate.
The SEED program will be implemented in two phases. In the development stage, prospective entrepreneurs selected to participate in the program will be enrolled in a compulsory three-week “Business Boot Camp” from Monday, November19 to Friday, December 7.
“Training will be delivered by professionals with expertise in areas such as accounting, marketing, management and customer service. Upon completion of the Business Boot Camp, successful participants will move to the Incubation Stage in which they will receive the funding and support services needed to establish their ventures,” the SIDF said in a statement.
The statement said entrepreneurs will be required to manage their businesses under the guidance of an assigned business manager who will set targets, measure performance and oversee the operations.
The Incubation Stage will be pre-determined based on the nature of each business, and at the end of this period, entrepreneurs are expected to run their businesses on their own.
SEED is an initiative of the SIDF with the objective of diversifying the economy, creating employment and empowering citizens. It is expected to realize the establishment of 50 – 100 businesses in St. Kitts & Nevis.