More Nevisian women receive WISE grants

Hon Patrice Nisbett (2nd right) presenting a WISE grant cheque to one of the Nevisian businesswomen. On the left is Ms Kerlyn Jones, PEP’s Coordinator in Nevis, and next to her is Mr Geoffrey Hanley, PEP’s Project Manager

CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS (September 17, 2013) — The Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, Labour, Justice and Legal Affairs, the Hon Patrice Nisbett, has assured Nevisians that as citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis they will benefit in the same way as the people of St. Kitts.

Minister Nisbett made the remarks on Thursday September 12 when he presented grant cheques to twenty Nevisian businesswomen under the Women in Small Enterprise (WISE) project, a component of the People Employment Programme (PEP), at the PEP office in Charlestown.

“I want the women to understand that we will ensure that whatever federal programme is available, that the people of Nevis receive the benefits that should come to them,” advised Hon Nisbett.

“We are citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, so if resources are made available for a programme, we will ensure that the people of Nevis benefit the same way that the people of St. Kitts (are benefitting), and will avail themselves of the opportunity to benefit.”

The People Employment Programme, which was launched by Prime Minister the Rt Hon Dr Denzil Douglas in December last year, is an initiative of the Federal Government of St. Kitts and Nevis, with funding support from the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF).

“For those who do not believe that SIDF is in Nevis, today is an example where the SIDF is at work in Nevis,” observed Hon Nisbett. “Apart from the PEP that is providing employment opportunities, the WISE is another component where the resources of the SIDF are being used to empower the women of Nevis.

“The SIDF must be congratulated for its efforts at achieving economic and social transformation among the women of Nevis.”

Recipients of WISE grants pose for a group picture

Hon Nisbett told recipients of the WISE grants that the project was designed to address the imbalance in opportunities available between men and women in the society, so as to ensure that necessary equality and equity in terms of distribution of natural resources was achieved.

“The WISE Programme seeks to provide micro financing to businesses that women are involved in, in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and we clearly understand the role that women play because (it is evident) when you look at the statistics in St. Kitts and Nevis,” advised Hon Nisbett.

“We see this PEP programme as providing financing so that you can expand your business and when you expand your business, we believe that you will be able to create employment opportunities, not only for yourselves but possibly for your families and possibly for other persons in the community of Nevis.”

People Employment Programme’s Project Manager, Mr Geoffrey Hanley, who was also in attendance, informed that it was his organisation’s desire to change the lives and businesses of women, particularly in Nevis.

He noted that when WISE was initially started, it targeted persons who were selling their wares from trays, but recognising the importance of women particularly with families, it was then extended to any business that a woman is involved in.

This was the second time businesswomen in Nevis were receiving grants from WISE, the first time having been in June this year. The second batch received a total of EC$75,500 according to Mr Hanley.

“On behalf of the PEP, we want to commend you the women who have been keeping families, not only strong but the communities in which you are serving, as you know your little business will be making impact on the entire community,” noted Mr Hanley.

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