CEO Elwin Groenevelt presents the first St. Maarten Social Impact Report to Finance Minister Ardwell Irion.
PHILIPSBURG--A total of 640 new jobs have been created in St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius thanks to small business loans from Qredits.
Qredits began its activities in St. Maarten, Saba and Statia in 2017, directly after Hurricane Irma. To date 334 entrepreneurs have already been financed on these islands for a total amount of almost US $8 million. This has resulted in the creation of 640 new jobs as shown in the Social Impact Report compiled by SEO Economic Research Amsterdam. According to SEO research almost 80 per cent of financed entrepreneurs could not have started their business without support from Qredits.
In 2009 the social lender Qredits began financing (starting) entrepreneurs who were not being serviced by banks in the Netherlands. Today over 25,000 entrepreneurs have been supported for a total amount of 500 million euros. In addition, Qredits also provides coaching and a variety of training courses for entrepreneurs. Qredits has been active in Bonaire since 2015 and after that also in Aruba (2017), Curaçao (2018) and St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius (2017).
“It is often said: SMEs are the engine of the economy. That is why it is so important for a vital economy to stimulate and support start-ups. Access to financing and support services for start-ups play a major role in this and are the reason Qredits got started in the Netherlands in 2009 and since 2015 on all the islands in the Caribbean Netherlands,” says founder and CEO Elwin Groenevelt.
Qredits is a great success in St. Maarten and a best-practice example of joint Caribbean-Netherlands projects. In addition to microcredit loans Qredits is also the most active intermediary providing financing and grants to entrepreneurs from the National Recovery Programme Bureau (NRPB) Enterprise Support Project. Microcredit loans not only enable entrepreneurs to start their business, but also to grow and expand for which they need staff. Currently 640 jobs and counting.
“A great result that continues to grow each year and proof that start-ups are the engine of the economy. The research also shows that 85 per cent of financed entrepreneurs are still active after three years. And entrepreneurs are no longer dependent on government benefits, but financially independent through income from their own company. This financial independence proves that the activities of Qredits lead to substantial savings in government benefits: a total of US $245,000 for St. Maarten, which in turn creates societal benefits for each island.”
Groenevelt: “Qredits is a social lender. A social enterprise in the financial sector is unique in the Netherlands and on the Caribbean islands. Qredits’ social mission is expressed in many different areas. For example, Qredits is much more flexible in credit assessment than other (commercial) lenders when it comes to starters, entrepreneurs with bad credit or those currently on welfare benefits, and we also provide smaller loans. Besides that, Qredits offers its customers a variety of training courses and coaching. All this to make entrepreneurs stronger, more resilient and more successful.”
View the complete Social Impact Report here: https://online.flippingbook.com/view/999457349/