Cooperation agreement announced to boost MSME support in St. Maarten

Cooperation agreement announced to  boost MSME support in St. Maarten

NRPB Director Claret Connor (centre, right) and SEDC President Pearl Hendrickson (centre, left) solidify the MOU signing with a handshake, observed by ESP Project Manager Anisa Dijkhoffz (right), and SEDC Vice President Avril Isaac (left).

PHILIPSBURG--National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) and St. Maarten Entrepreneurship Development Center (SEDC), endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT), have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) aimed at supporting the implementation of the Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP).

The EDP is a four-week training programme designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with essential business skills, fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in St. Maarten. The programme, consisting of eight sessions in business fundamentals, will run four times over the course of one year. The MOU marks the first step towards future collaborative efforts between NRPB and SEDC and covers the period from January 2024 to June 2025.

page5b017eRepresentatives of NRPB, the TEATT Ministry and SEDC present at the signing ceremony.

NRPB is implementing the Enterprise Support Project (ESP) as part of the St. Maarten Trust Fund, financed by the Dutch Government and managed by the World Bank. Through a combination of grants and loans, this project bolsters micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across diverse sectors. The primary goal is to enhance recovery and resilience through direct financial aid, thereby revitalising economic activity.

To date, the ESP has provided loans and grants totalling $17.1 million to more than 250 MSMEs. With the ESP application deadline closing in June 2025, the recent MOU with SEDC is timely, ensuring continued support and development for MSMEs. The SEDC aims to serve as a crucial bridge between the government and the community, facilitating various development programmes and policies that promote the long-term sustainability and growth of micro- and small businesses on the island.

NRPB Director Claret Connor expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership: “The signing of this MOU with SEDC marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to support MSMEs in St. Maarten. By leveraging the positive impact already created for businesses through the ESP project, we aim to ensure continued benefits for local entrepreneurs. With the combination of our resources and expertise, we are confident that we can create a thriving environment for local entrepreneurs.”

SEDC President Pearl Hendrickson added, “This MOU aligns with SEDC’s guiding principle of fostering public, academic, and private collaboration to collectively invest in promoting job creation and income generation. By establishing new MSMEs and empowering existing ones, we aim to ensure sustainability, eliminate inefficiencies, and avoid duplication of work.”

This initial MOU between NRPB and SEDC represents a critical milestone in the mission to empower MSMEs. Both organisations will continue to explore future collaborations to provide MSMEs with the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to succeed.

For more information about the training programme, contact SEDC at

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 721-542-8898.

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