CED Host Business Plan Pitch

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent & the Grenadines - A number of persons who successfully completed a one-week training on Writing a Business Plan appeared.

 

before a panel of business and financial consultants to pitch their business ideas on August 20th.


The Business Plan Pitch was an addition to the recent seminar that was put on by the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. (CED), where business operators, entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs learned how to develop and pitch a business plan to investors and financial institutions. The seminar was facilitated by business consultant and former CED Business Gateway Project manager, Mrs. Simone Murray.
Both Murray and the CED came in for high praises from participants at the close of the seminar last Friday night. Participants expresses satisfaction that their expectations were surpassed as the in-depth training has equipped them with skills and broadened their understanding of how to research and analyze the individual components needed for a successful business plan and how they can apply these newly acquired skills to create a business plan for different audiences.

 

Come Monday, each participant will go before a five-member panel at the CED Conference Room and pitch their business ideas.

“Having gone through the training, participants began working on the drafts of their business plan, which they are to continue working on to present on the pitching day,” says CED Training Coordinator Keisha Phillips, “We had some very interesting presentations, based on the level of participation in the practical aspects of the seminar between August 6 and 10. They each received feedback on their ideas and pitch from the panel of professionals – this critique was very important and it was feedback which they will take to improve their business plans as well as their techniques in pitching.”

 

Miss Phillips says the CED is happy that its objectives for this training were met.

 

“Although we were disappointed that more small and medium enterprises did not take advantage of this opportunity to attend the seminar and participate in this pitching exercise, we are pleased that those who did will be able to move forward with their businesses and business ideas after they develop winning plans and ideas.”

 

 

DAGS Sensitization Workshops held in the Grenadines

A number of business operators on the Grenadine islands of Bequia and Union Island are now exploring ideas which they may be able to use to access grant funding under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS) being executed by Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA).

 

This, having participated in two simultaneous workshops on May 3, organized to sensitize businesses in the Grenadines about how they can apply under DAGS, which is funded by the European Union under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme. DAGS is designed to support established businesses with strong potential to export their products and services.

 

CEDA opened its latest Call for Proposals (CfP) under its DAGS on April 23, giving an opportunity for businesses within CARIFORUM to receive the funding. The grant allows reimbursements to a maximum of 70% of the total value of projects and this is capped at 50,000 Euros.  The minimum grant amount that can be applied for is 10,000 Euros. The deadline for applications is June 4, 2018.

 

The workshops on Bequia and Union Island were held as part of efforts by Invest SVG and the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc (CED) to promote the DAGS and enlighten the local business sector about the programme. The sessions were conducted by CEDA Country Advisors, who were among sixteen (16) individuals from Antigua, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines trained and certified last month in Antigua.

SVG’s Country Advisors are Angenella Young, Sianne Timm and Hazel-Ann Nero-Roberts of Invest SVG and Keisha Phillips and Nisha Glasgow from the CED.

 

As Country Advisors, these individuals are key to the new DAGS. They were trained by Caribbean Export on all aspects of the DAGS – especially the application and reimbursement process - as they will act as an extension of the DAGS unit and be the first contact point with businesses at the national level to address concerns and questions. A Terms of Reference (TOR) to guide the new Country Advisors on their roles and responsibilities was distributed. Each Country Advisor also signed a Confidentiality Agreement.

 

The session on Bequia was held at the Bequia Community High School by Angenella Young, Keisha Phillips and Nisha Glasgow; while in Union Island Hazel-Ann Nero-Roberts conducted the session at the Learning Resource Centre in Ashton.

Persons wishing to apply to DAGS can download the application package at: www.carib-export.com/opportunities/call-for-proposals-direct-assistance-grant-scheme-dags/.

 

Compete Caribbean and the Centre for Enterprise Development host National Workshop on Cluster Development

KINGSTOWN, ST. VINCENT & THE GRENADINES – Members of the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility were in St. Vincent in February to kick-start a cluster capacity-building project with the Centre for Enterprise Development (CED). A full day was spent with CED’s board and staff on February 14 to assess the organization’s capacity to generate employment and exports through clusters.

The assessment carried-out will be fundamental to develop a capacity enhancement plan for CED. It will also be key to pursue technical assistance to implement the plan and further the organization’s capacity to coordinate local cluster development. The national workshop took place at the Methodist Church Hall on February 15 with over 60 key stakeholders participating in the event and discussed the promotion of clusters and other opportunities for inclusive growth in St. Vincent.

“Clusters are defined as three or more private sector firms collaborating to produce and sell new or better products/services at competitive costs on the regional or international market. Cluster projects have great potential to generate revenue, increase foreign exchange, and create employment, including jobs for women and marginalized groups”, highlighted Lisa Drakes, Compete Caribbean’s Pillar One Project Development Officer.

“Phase one of the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility was successful in creating nearly 12,000 jobs, increasing the revenue of participating firms by 41% and increasing their exports on average by 23%, this prompted the donors to approve a second phase. In addition to continuing their work with governments and private sector, in this second phase Compete Caribbean will be focused on transferring knowledge to business support organizations (BSOs) of the region.” Drakes added.

Felix Lewis, CED's General Manager, in his remarks, said clustering is a solution to the challenges faced in small open economies, such as St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

"As we search for solutions to the stagnant economic growth of the region, the relatively high unemployment and high incidence of poverty, it is emerging that industry clustering is offering some exciting results that are raising hopes that this approach can contribute significantly rekindling of economic growth prospects in the region."

Meanwhile, in declaring the national workshop opened, Featured Speaker and Director of Planning in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology, Mrs. Laura Anthony-Browne, said the clustering initiative by Compete Caribbean through CED fits into SVG's National and Social Economic Development Plan 2013-2025. She also lauded the efforts of Compete Caribbean in bringing programmes that compliment government’s plans, noting that among the workshop’s objectives was to exploit the potential for cluster capacity as a toolkit for economic development.

"Cluster analyses help to diagnose a region’s or a country’s economic strengths and challenges. Analyses of clusters also help to identify realistic ways to shape a country’s economic future,” she stated. “Clusters have been promoted for some time now. The promotion has intensified over the last 20 or so years as a means of promoting growth and development, and so policy administrators like myself, we are particularly interested in the information we can get when the economy is analyzed, when businesses are analyses in clusters.”

The Compete Caribbean mission was preceded by a two-day regional workshop for Capacity Building of Business Support Organizations in Barbados on January 17 – 18, 2018. This regional workshop formally marked the start of the Compete Caribbean’s Cluster Capacity Building in Small and Vulnerable Countries project, which aims to increase the capacity of business support organizations while facilitating cluster development initiatives.

 

CED participates in Simulation Business Games Workshop

In February, fourteen (14) representatives from Business Support Organizations (BSOs) in select Member States of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) attended a three-day Simulation Business Games Workshop hosted by the SBFIC in St. Lucia.

The workshop, which ran from February 6-8, was held as part of the Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation’s (SBFIC) Eastern Caribbean Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) endorsed project to support the strengthening of the financial sector and improvement of access to financial services in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) by Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s).

Partners and potential beneficiaries were introduced to simulation board games and preliminary training was provided in the use of the games as a tool to enhance financial literacy.

The participants were exposed to the Micro Business Game, which is a highly interactive training that focused on how the success and sustainability of start-up business can be improved in a practical manner. The overall objective of the Micro Business Game was to experience how to manage a micro business efficiently, using an experience-based approach. Participants learned the crucial principles of managing a business and how to deal with possible challenges and opportunities.

Meanwhile, the Savings Game gave participants the basic economic concepts for managing household budgets, including the selection of a sound financial institution for their savings. This game is designed to help private households, young adults and small family-run businesses that want to manage a family budget successfully, while accumulating savings.

Participants in the workshop were from various business support agencies in St. Lucia, Dominica and St. Vincent and the Grenadines as well as representatives from the ECCB in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. (CED) was represented by Business Development Field Officer Nisha Glasgow and Training Coordinator Keisha Phillips.
The workshop was facilitated by Ian Merrifield of BTS responsible for development of the simulation games. He was joined by Inka Rank – Project Manager SBFIC, Bonn as well as Dr. Juergen Engel, outgoing Country Representative of the SBFIC East Caribbean Project.



Representatives from Business Support Organizations (BSOs) in select Member States of the OECS attended a three-day Simulation Business Games Workshop hosted by the SBFIC in St. Lucia.



L-R: IRVIN SPRINGER, FNB St Lucia; NISHA GLASGOW, CED, KEISHA PHILLIPS, CED; and SHERMALON KIRBY-GORDON, ECCB, engage in the Savings Game exercise during the workshop.

Contact Us

First Floor, Moussa Building 
Grenville Street 
P.O. Box 2343 Kingstown 
St. Vincent & the Grenadines

Phone : (784) 451-2235 | (784) 451-2236
Fax : (784) 451-2237
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.