Consultation Targets Challenges to Self-Employment

Director of Youth Empowerment Geoffrey Hanley welcomes participants during address. Seated at the head table (left to right) are Marcia Brandon of BYBT, Ingrid O’Loughlin of ECCB and Dr. Heather Johnson of CARICOM Secretariat.

Basseterre, St. Kitts, February 8, 2012 (SKNIS): Commitment by participants to the strengthening of an enabling environment for entrepreneurs was one of the key outputs of the half-day Consultation of Entrepreneurship Development Service Providers which was held February 7 at the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

This assurance was given by key participants such as representatives from leading banks and other financial institutions including the FND and St. Kitts Co-operative Credit Unions along with participants from the Ministry of Social Development, the Chamber of Industry and Commerce, the Small Business Association, the St. Kitts Investment Promotion Agency (SKIPA) and the National Entrepreneurship Development Division (NEDD) of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

A prioritized list of entrepreneurship challenges, gaps and opportunities was also compiled by the stakeholders, before coming up with a prioritized list of strategies to address them. Further collaboration and the identification of point-persons for follow up were also decided upon.

The consultation was organised by the Department of Youth Empowerment with support from the ECCB and the Youth Desk at the CARICOM Secretariat. Pierre Liburd Senior Youth Officer at the Department of Youth Empowerment informed the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service that the participating entities were to be commended because there was high attendance.

Participants at half-day Consultation of Entrepreneurship Development Service Providers.

“I believe that the consultation was extremely productive and in speaking to others this appears to be the consensus, Mr. Liburd enthused. “We all agreed that the entrepreneurship environment in St. Kitts can be improved and a better culture stimulated. We all have a role to play in this and so we agreed to collaborate more in closing the identified gaps both within and across sectors.”

This achievement was the result of group discussions such as Building an Entrepreneurship Culture -Strengthening the Enabling Environment and obtaining live feedback from Marcia Brandon of the Barbados Youth Business Trust and the Caribbean Group of Youth Business Trusts. Mr. Liburd also revealed that several entities made the consultation possible.

“I need to thank all the institutions that participated,” Mr. Liburd noted. “I will also invite partners to come on board by first of all considering a prospective role their institution can play in creating an environment that is more conducive for entrepreneurship, before contacting the Youth Empowerment Department.”

Mr. Liburd who is also responsible for Entrepreneurship Development and the Point Person for the Consultation noted that partners such as CARICOM Secretariat, the Organisation of American States, the Barbados Youth Trust and ECCB had greatly assisted in ensuring the success of the event.

Participants at half-day Consultation of Entrepreneurship Development Service Providers.

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