Roseau, Dominica: The Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica hosted grants handing over ceremony on May 24, 2023. During the event, the Grants were presented to the second quarter of small business entrepreneurs by profession and who qualified for the award of the grant.
The government of Dominica hosted the programme through the Ministry of Finance and the United Nations Development Project (UNDP), which continues to be a very strong partner in our development agenda for Dominica.
Limya Eltayeb, Resident Representative for UNDP Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, presented the virtual address. She congratulated the award grants to four business owners selected as part of cohort 2.
She further highlighted future tourism, which is one of the distinguished projects which can take place between Dominica and the UNDP. “Future tourism was looking at the tourism sector as well as small and micro Enterprises and how to support them,” she emphasised.
Eltayeb further claimed that the project would be financed by UNDP and co-financed by Caribbean Development Bank (CDB).
“The idea is to really make small businesses and micro businesses more resilient and adapt applicable to post-COVID, more resilient and adaptable,” she stated.
The UNDP Resident Representative further mentioned that throughout the future tourism program, more than 400 small business owners and medium business owners would be supported within the Caribbean. “UNDP is working in 10 English-speaking countries and OECS Caribbean member states, and out of those 400 that were actually benefit directly from this program,” she outlined, adding, “75 per cent of them were women-owned businesses, something we’re very proud of.”
While concluding her message, she thanked the government of Dominica, which as per her, owns and stands up front and leads the development agenda. “We’re very happy and proud and lucky to be working your side,” she mentioned.
During the ceremony, the project milestones to date were also shared. As per the government, since the calls for applications in January 2021, the project has seen the following Milestones accomplished with reference to Dominica:
1. Small Businesses registration of 60 plus applicants for the future tourism open training that was cohort 1
2. Submission of 30 plus business improvement plans under the business adaptation program segment one of the project approval of 22 small businesses.
3. Business Improvement Plans for Grant Financing – 19 received 10,800 dollars each, and three (3) received 17,550 dollars each, amounting to a total of EC 257,850 dollars for cohort 1.
4. A virtual Grand hunting ceremony was convened in January 2022 for cohort 1.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister of Tourism, and the project was first implemented by the Ministry of Tourism when the small business unit was a unit under that Ministry.
5. There was a convening of a BAP training of the trainer’s program and there was the registration of 10 applicants for the future tourism open training cohort 1. Submission of four business improvement plans under the business adaptation program segment of project cohort 2 and approval of four business Improvement plans for Grant financing.
In addition to this, Colin Piper, the CEO and director of tourism, delivered brief remarks on behalf of the Minister of Tourism of the Commonwealth of Dominica – Denise Charles.
He outlined, “This program started off in 2021 under the then Ministry of Tourism International Transport and Maritime initiatives. During that time, we handed over grants to the first cohort consisting of 22 MSMEs which were directly or indirectly involved in the tourism sector.”
He also mentioned that currently, 26 MSMEs would be benefitted through this programme under the second cohort.
While concluding, he thanked UNDP for their efforts and contribution towards the development of the nations.