SIDF targets up to 100 new businesses by making EC$5 million interest-free through SEED programme

St. Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas (Photo by Erasmus Williams)

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 5TH 2012 (CUOPM) – Aspiring local entrepreneurs will soon be given a one of a kind opportunity to realize their dream.

The St. Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) has announced the launching of the Small Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development (SEED).

The programme, promised by Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Dr. Denzil L. Douglas, has been designed by SIDF to assist in creating innovative, commercial ventures that have the potential to become profitable.

The SIDF has committed EC$5 million to the SEED fund to finance start-up businesses by granting loans ranging from EC$5,000 to EC$100,000 at 0% interest rate.

The SEED programme will be implemented in two phases. In the Development Stage, prospective entrepreneurs selected to participate in the programme will be enrolled in a compulsory three-week Business Boot Camp where they will receive training in the pre-requisites for establishing and operating a successful business.

“Training will be delivered by professionals with expertise in areas such as accounting, marketing, management and customer service. Upon completion of the Business Boot Camp, successful participants will move to the Incubation Stage in which they will receive the funding and support services needed to establish their ventures,” the SIDF said in a statement.

It added that entrepreneurs will be required to manage their businesses under the guidance of an assigned Business Manager who will set targets, measure performance and oversee the operations.

The Incubation Stage will be pre-determined based on the nature of each business, and at the end of this period, entrepreneurs are expected to run their businesses on their own.

The Business Boot Camp commences on Monday, November 19, 2012 and ends on Friday, December 7, 2012.

Sessions will be conducted Mondays to Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the SIDF Office (C21, The Sands Complex).

Nationals of St. Kitts and Nevis who have an innovative business idea are eligible to apply to participate in SEED.

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