Development Bank’s technical assistance programmes boosted by the Centre for the Development of Enterprise

Mr Lenworth Harris, Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis’ General Manager signing his portion of the agreement with the Centre for the Development of Enterprise to offer technical assistance to small and medium size enterprises in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Basseterre St. Kitts (September 7, 2011) — The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis last week signed an agreement with the Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE), a European Union (EU) funded institution, that will enhance the Bank’s ability to offer technical assistance to its small and medium size enterprise clients.

Development Bank’s General Manager, Mr Lenworth Harris, who signed on behalf of the Bank, said the agreement, valued at €110,000, was significant as it relates to the productive sector, the engine of much needed economic growth in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

CDE Director, Mr Jean Erick Romagne, had signed the agreement documents before they were sent to the Bank for Mr Harris’ signature. “Essentially the signing of this agreement with the Centre for the Development of Enterprises and the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis is to share costs in providing technical assistance to our clients,” said Harris. “This would enable us to provide technical assistance to our clients both existing and prospective at minimal cost.”

The CDE would be contributing €74,400 which according to Mr Harris, is about EC$250,000. He noted that with the signing of the agreement, which came into effect on Thursday September 1, it will remove one of the major hurdles that the country’s small and medium businesses faced, that is a shortage of technical assistance, whether in the form of managerial expertise, provision accounting services or any other business related services or expertise. “We will now be able to put systems in place and provide the required services through these technical experts to our clients at negligible cost,” said the General Manager.

He explained that this will be possible as sometimes it may just involve the time of the client, “and maybe transporting the expert from one location to the next, to obtain information rather than actual cash out flow.” Mr Harris has emphasised that the Development Bank will make the delivery of technical service accessible and affordable, because it believes the enhancement of its clients’ businesses would not only lead to an improved loan portfolio for the Bank but also a major enhancement of the country’s productive sector. He further stated that this would be made possible by engaging the various local consultants and also regional consultants to facilitate the needs of the Bank’s clients.

As a result the Bank is now making a call for Technical Experts and Consultants in the field of business to submit their CV (resume) which will be placed in the Bank’s database, from which the Bank will select to deliver the required technical assistance to the Bank’s existing and prospective clients. On behalf of the Development Bank, Mr Harris expressed appreciation to the Centre for the Development of Enterprise, and Ms Marie Louise Norton Murray, Interim Head at the CDE Caribbean Regional Office in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic “for coming forward at this critical juncture to help support and develop the private sector in St. Kitts and Nevis.”

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