Monday 10 August, 2020

Nevis and Taiwan sign EC$5million deal to boost entrepreneurship

 [iStock.com/AlexPotemkin]

[iStock.com/AlexPotemkin]

The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has taken steps to boost entrepreneurship.

On Monday, Premier Mark Brantley announced on social media, that the NIA signed an agreement with the Republic of China (Taiwan), who will donate EC$5 million, to fund small businesses on the island. He said this fund targets women of all ages and men under the age of 35, who have start-up businesses with a marketable business plan.

“We wish to see more youth and women empowered to start their own businesses and part of the problem was that micro and small businesses have difficulty accessing loan funding from the traditional commercial banks. Youth and women have it especially hard,” he told Loop News.

The Premier said the interest rate on these loans will be considerably lower than the commercial bank rates, which often go as high as 8%.

“We will lend up to $100 000 to any one borrower and the funds will be repayable at an interest rate of no more than 3.5%. The fund, called the Entrepreneurship Fund, will be managed by the SEDU, which will also provide advice, monitoring and mentorship to these new entrepreneurs” he said.

The aim, he said, is to create a whole new cadre of small and micro business owners.

The Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) will begin accepting applications later this month.

According to Premier Brantley, this latest development is further proof that the NIA is committed to continuing its strong support of small business development on the island.

He said “we look forward to women and youth taking advantage of this programme tailor-made for them which aims to see more businesses owned by these two groups in Nevis.”

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