Saint Lucia secures $20 million investment from CDB for Youth Economy

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The Government of Saint Lucia is looking to boost the nation’s youth economy and entrepreneurial landscape as the Youth Economy Agency (YEA) successfully secured a $20 million investment from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for key initiatives.

The guidance and influence of Prime Minister Philip J Pierre has been instrumental in introducing the Youth Economy Agency (YEA), which is geared specifically towards providing funding and resources to the nation’s youth (15-35 years). This is meant to foster their entrepreneurial spirit and help them kickstart their business ventures.

Through this medium, Saint Lucia is looking to affect change in the lives of 3,000 individuals, who will now be able to have access to financing for their small businesses and enterprises.

The Chairman of the Youth Economy Agency (YEA), Thomas Leonce, spoke of the positive effect this vital injection of funds will have on St Lucia and expressed how grateful he is that the Caribbean Development Bank chose to participate in this initiative.

According to Leonce, the initiative has the potential to have a revolutionary effect, not only on the beneficiaries but also on the communities and economy of Saint Lucia.

He added, “The young people of Saint Lucia are now feeling it. They can touch it, and they can grasp it.”

Bryan Vidal, the Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Economy Agency, concurred with Leonce, stating the following, “These monies will be poured into much-needed capacity-building and training initiatives.”

The duo delineated their perspective on how the government is approaching the task of empowering the youth of Saint Lucia, as they addressed the gathering at the Sandals Grande Saint Lucian Resort.

The Youth Economy Agency (YEA) is working towards creating the right environment in Saint Lucia to allow young entrepreneurs to prosper, thus impacting the economy in a positive manner in the coming years.

To achieve this objective, the Youth Economy Agency (YEA) is trying to provide the youth of the nation with the skills and knowledge necessary for them to establish themselves in various fields, including agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, retail and service sectors.

The hope is that such a comprehensive approach will allow Saint Lucia to develop several generations of capable entrepreneurs and business leaders, who will be able to build sustainable enterprises which will then be able to flourish along with the nation in the near future.

Vidal also stated the following, “This latest infusion of funds from the CDB underscores a collective commitment to fostering youth-driven economic growth and innovation in Saint Lucia.”

This initiative was pushed by the fact that since its inception, the Youth Economy Agency (YEA) has been flooded with applications from young and motivated Saint Lucians asking for grants to back their entrepreneurial ambitions.

This is seen as a sign of the growing entrepreneurial spirit and optimism that the youth of Saint Lucia have today. The YEA has received 1,206 applications for grant funding and 270 loan applications between March 2023 to December 2023.

The Agency has responded by allocating roughly $1.5 million EC to 449 grants, although the amount is yet to be imbursed. Despite this, the fact that the YEA is engaging with applications at a meaningful rate is a show of commitment from its end and with an appropriate amount of funding, the agency will now be able to carry out its tasks effectively.

Vidal stated the following, “The injection of $20 million from the Caribbean Development Bank promises to catalyze a new era of economic empowerment and prosperity. With targeted support and strategic investments, the YEA is poised to unleash the full potential of Saint Lucia’s youth, driving sustainable growth and innovation across the island nation.”

As the initiative continues to grow exponentially with time and the youth economy of Saint Lucia goes from strength to strength, the nation’s economy will see the impact of new businesses and enterprises bringing in significant amounts of capital and investment into the nation.

This will allow Saint Lucia and individual enterprises to explore new opportunities, both in the region and internationally, thereby expanding the Caribbean nation’s reach.

The social impact of such growth will also be significant as it will allow capital to flow into the hands of citizens, while also improving the job market. A larger number of successful enterprises thriving in Saint Lucia will help increase job opportunities for citizens and improve the levels of job security as well.

Thus, the Philip J Pierre government’s push for the growth of the youth economy in Saint Lucia is a long-term initiative which looks to secure the future of Saint Lucia and its citizens, specifically the youth.

Ana Allen
Ana Allenhttp://writeups24.com
Anna Allen, news writer at Writeups24, is a Harvard graduate with a passion for journalism. With her keen eye for detail and insatiable curiosity, she captures the essence of global stories. Anna's writing informs and delves into cultural nuances. To reach Anna, you can email contact@writeups24.com

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