August 30, 2023 -Philipsburg Sint Maarten — MINSTRY OF Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transportation and Telecommunication (TEATT) held its Closing and Certification Ceremony of the SME Entrepreneurship Development Program (SEDP) and launched the Sint Maarten Entrepreneurship Development Center (SEDC) on Friday, August 25th, 2023.
The structured one-year Business Support and Entrepreneurship Development Training Program which targeted both aspiring and existing entrepreneurs funded by the department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication (ETT) and executed by A & A Accounting and HPS Consulting, cumulated with a grand successful finale on Friday, August 25, 2023, at the Belair Community Center.
The sense of accomplishment was felt during the evening as the participants to the program displayed their products and/or services and vividly networked with all invited guests.
Over the one-year training and coaching period, the program boasts of its Key milestones achieved –
The number of existing businesses registered with the program grew from 43% (16) to 92% (42). This is almost triple the amount from when the program started. Of this figure, 12 Business/ Vending licenses were issued by the Business License department of the Ministry of TEATT through an expedited procedure for program participants.
23 loan applications were submitted to the NRPB totaling an amount of almost $900,000,
Currently, 13 loan applications are in the process of being finalized to submit to the NRPB.
The closing ceremony included speeches of the Prime Minister, Silveria Jacobs, Minister of VSA, Omar Ottley and Head of the Department of Economy, Transportation and Telecommunication, Valya Pantophlet.
The evening’s Keynote Speaker was the Founder and Managing Director of Barbados Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL), Dr. Marcia Brandon and closing remarks was delivered by Ann Evans-Marlin.
The presentation of Certificates to the SEDPers was presented by representatives of the Ministry of TEATT including Minister Arthur Lambriex and the Secretary General of TEATT, Miguel the Weever.
The main highlight of the evening was the launch of the St. Maarten Entrepreneurship Development Center (SEDC) which is endorsed by The Ministry of TEATT as a means of providing a sustainable structure for Entrepreneurship development. The Center’s primary objective is to provide wide range of business advisory services such as incubation programs and services, trainings, workshops as well as technical assistance to name a few.
On August 28, 2023, the SEDC achieved its first key milestone which was the signing of a MOU with the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL).
The partnership will afford both organizations mutual benefits such as, Networking, Resource mobilization, Capacity development for entrepreneurs, Access to trainings, workshops and funding, Partnership policies and Project development in the blue and green economies being Agriculture, Renewable Energy.
The board members of the SEDC are Pearl Hendrickson, Avril Isaac and Ann Evans with Amanda Rogers as Operations Manager.