WISE Programme set to assist and empower women
|The Honorable Marcella Liburd, Minister responsible for Gender Affairs|
Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 18, 2013 (SKNIS): Friday (February 15) marked the launch of the Women in Small Enterprises Programme (WISE) which will not only assist women with their small businesses but also give them the confidence to build their enterprise.
During the launching ceremony, Minister responsible for Gender Affairs Marcella Liburd noted that women are generally the least financially stable and yet almost half of families are headed by single women. It was also noted that the majority of these single women’s income is spent on their families.
“We strongly believe that if we take care of the women, their families will be taken care of,” Minister Liburd emphasized. “So that is one of the reasons why we are pushing this [project] for women.”
Minister Liburd announced that the entrepreneurs will be granted support of up to EC $2,500 and will be trained in micro-enterprise management.
“The rational behind WISE is to help women like you to be able to stimulate your business even in a very small way,”said Minister Liburd. “So you will be able to access some funds in order to help you to maybe stock, buy some form of equipment for your business, maybe if you are in the hair business you may want another hair dryer, you may want a chair, whatever it is to help you to do better in your business.”
PEP will assign persons to these small businesses to encourage and guide women as to how to improve their business.
“We will have our officers come to you where ever you are and speak with you about what sort of assistance you will need in terms of how to better operate your shop, what you can do to better organize yourself in doing business. So at the end of the programme you would be a better business woman than you were when you started.”
The trainers will also help in money management and strategic planning for the success of the WISE businesses.
Minister Liburd explained that this hands-on help will increase the confidence of these women as they will be able to run their business efficiently.
The programme is catering and not limited to persons selling items from trays, persons with small shops and small hairdressing salons.
Applicants must be 18 years and older and should already have a small business operation in order to apply. They are also required to have a business licence and must be registered as a small business or self-employed with Social Security.