12 business, vending licences issued and 23 loan applications submitted during SEDP programme

12 business, vending licences issued and 23 loan  applications submitted during SEDP programme

Sitting (from left): CoESL founder Dr. Marcia Brandon and Pearl Hendrickson. Standing (from left): Ann Marlin-Evans and Avril Isaac.

PHILIPSBURG--Twelve business and vending licences were issued by the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Business License Department through an expedited procedure for participants in the small and medium enterprise (SME) Entrepreneurship Development Programme (SEDP), which ended recently.


The SEDC team displaying the MOU.

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A scene during the SEDP closing ceremony.

Additionally, during the year-long programme, 23 loan applications were submitted to the National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) totalling an amount of almost US $900,000. Currently, 13 loan applications are in the process of being finalised to submit to the NRPB.

The number of existing businesses registered with the programme grew from 43% (16) to 92% (42). This is almost triple the number of businesses registered when the programme started.

The TEATT Ministry held a closing and certification ceremony for the SEDP and launched the Sint Maarten Entrepreneurship Development Center (SEDC) at the Belair Community Center on Friday, August 25.

The structured one-year Business Support and Entrepreneurship Development Training Program targeted aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, was funded by the Department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication (ETT) and was executed by A&A Accounting and HPS Consulting.

According to a press release, a sense of accomplishment was felt during the evening as the participants displayed their products and/or services and networked with guests.

The closing ceremony included speeches from Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs, Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor VSA Omar Ottley and ETT Department Head Valya Pantophlet.

Founder and Managing Director of Barbados Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL) Dr. Marcia Brandon delivered the keynote address and closing remarks were delivered by Ann Evans-Marlin.

Representatives of the TEATT Ministry, including Minister Arthur Lambriex and TEATT Secretary General Miguel the Weever, presented certificates to the SEDPers.

The main highlight of the evening was the launch of the St. Maarten Entrepreneurship Development Center, which is endorsed by the TEATT Ministry as a means of providing a sustainable structure for entrepreneurship development. The primary objective of the centre is to provide a wide range of business advisory services, such as incubation programmes and services, trainings, workshops and technical assistance, amongst others.

SEDC achieved its first key milestone on August 28, which was the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with CoESL. The partnership will afford the organisations mutual benefits such as networking; resource mobilisation; capacity development for entrepreneurs; access to trainings, workshops and funding; partnership policies; and project development in the blue and green economies agriculture and renewable energy.

SEDC board members are Pearl Hendrickson, Avril Isaac and Ann Evans, with Amanda Rogers as Operations Manager.

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