SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) - Based on the success of the Enterprise Support Project and the evident need for further assistance to entrepreneurs in the local market, the National Recovery Project to over 100 participants.
The restructuring of the project will strengthen the long-term sustainability of capacity building. The project is also placing a stronger emphasis on targeted support to new, micro, and small businesses. This extension and revised design of the project went into effect on September 15th, 2023.
Finance Minister Ardwell Irion, who has been one of the project’s champions, is pleased to see a stronger emphasis on training and financial support, particularly for new entrepreneurs. Initially, the project offered only a 65% grant such as theSmall Business Academy (SBA) hosted by Qredits, and the SEDP training launched by the Ministry of TEATT. Some examples of the content covered in these sessions are business plan writing and business management practices that will support sustainable and scalable results for businesses.
“The Government of Sint Maarten continues to support Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through the ESP program because these enterprises play a pivotal role in driving economic growth, creating employment, and fostering innovation. By providing partial grant funding, the government aims to alleviate some of the financial challenges MSMEs face, especially during their early stages, ensuring their survival and growth. This not only aids in job creation but also enhances the competitiveness and resilience of the national economy. Moreover, supporting MSMEs contributes to achieving a more equitable distribution of wealth.” said Finance Minister Irion.
As micro-businesses are essential contributors to the local economy, Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Leo Lambriex supports these changes, especially considering Sint Maarten’s recovery from both the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current war in Ukraine. “I encourage all to embrace the opportunity to continue to grow and urge all to take up this offer," said TEATT Minister Lambriex.
"Small and micro businesses are the backbone of our economy, driving innovation and creating jobs in every corner of our nation. I urge every aspiring entrepreneur to seize this opportunity provided by the Enterprise Support Project, for together, we can build a stronger, more resilient economy that benefits us all. This perfectly aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 8, which encompasses a wide range of targets aimed at promoting economic growth, creating decent job opportunities, and fostering entrepreneurship, including support for small and micro businesses, " - stated Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs.
ESP is a project of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, which is financed by the Government of the Netherlands, managed by the World, and implemented by the NRPB on behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten.