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GIDC aims to create at least 90 sustainable businesses

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by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada 

  • At least 90 new sustainable businesses to be created under Climate Smart Agriculture and Rural Enterprise Programme
  • 500 unemployed or underemployed young men and women expected to benefit

Under the Business Grant financing of the Enterprise Business Development, a component of the Climate Smart Agriculture and Rural Enterprise Programme (SAEP), the Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC) seeks to create at least 90 new sustainable businesses out of a target of 120.

In addition, over the 6-year life cycle of SAEP, it is expected that 500 unemployed or underemployed men and women will benefit from Enterprise Business Development Training and Grant Financing. Funded through the Government of Grenada, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), this project seeks to reduce the country’s high unemployment rate and reduce poverty in rural communities.

Under this project, the First Push Grant provides for individuals to access 95% of US$1,000 and 95% of US$2,500 for groups. Noel said the First Push Grant financing is designed for aspiring entrepreneurs to first test their ideas to ensure that it is viable.

“Now the grant component of the programme relies on the training component of the programme, because after you’ve been trained then you can access the grant. So basically, the training prepares you for starting a business. In January 2020 we look into rollout the first cohort of 50 trainees after the first cohort we would issue the call for proposals to access the grant so it would be on an ongoing basis. It’s a one of training in a sense for a cohort, but is a training that will continue up to 2021,” Noel said.

She added that this programme targets unemployed or underemployed men and women, as well as business owners operating for less than 3 years, who are also eligible to register. These existing business owners are expected to be trained in

  • Business plan development
  • Record-keeping
  • Marketing
  • Costing and pricing.

Young people eligible to benefit from start-up entrepreneurial training must be between the ages of 16-35 years.

The training will take place at a recently refurbished building at the Seamoon Industrial Park in St Andrew. Participants who complete remedial education, entrepreneurial skills development and grant proposal writing can access grant financing under the Business Grant financing.

“The business grant is for [people] who would have accessed the First Push. They would have determined based on certain criteria that the business is viable and they fully want to establish. So we refer to these businesses as sustainable businesses coming from the testing phase. For individuals, they are expected to access 90% of EC$25,000 and for the groups its slightly different in that EC$25,000 multiplied by the number of people in the group. So even though we have a maximum of over EC$80,000 available you can only access EC$75,000 despite having more than three people in the group,” she said.

She added that in the case of the First Push Grant, a 5% in-kind contribution is required from individual and group beneficiaries, and in the case of the business grant, a contribution of 5% in kind and 10% cash contribution is required.

To encourage registration Business Development Officer, Josanne Benjamin, said a team will be visiting various communities to meet with the people targeted under the programme. “We are inviting people to register… we would give them information or details about the programme and we also have the registration forms on hand. So we are there to assist them with the registration process.”

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