Friday, April 19, 2024

Island entrepreneurs encouraged to take advantage of the National MSME Roadshow


The National Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Roadshow have arrived in San Pedro Town. The initiative created by the Government of Belize supporting and guiding businesses under the MSME category will take place on the island from Wednesday, October 26th, through Friday, October 28th, at the San Pedro Lions Den on Barrier Reef Drive. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to take advantage of these services offered throughout the three-day event. In addition, aspiring entrepreneurs are asked to submit their business ideas. At the end of the event, three persons will be selected to receive $2,500 each to support their project.
The roadshow has been taking place across the country, mainly promoting small business development. The campaign also aims to stimulate new ideas by awarding its creators. People are encouraged to visit the Lions Den to submit their business proposal for a chance to get financing.
Ishmael Quiroz, Director of Public-Private Dialogue in the Economic Development Council in the Office of the Prime Minister, told The San Pedro Sun that one of the objectives of the MSME roadshow is to provide awareness in the importance of micro-enterprises and small businesses. He explained that the first day of the roadshow in San Pedro was a boot camp on small business training. “This is to provide fast and intense training across business management topics,” said Quiroz. “We want to give participating businesses a taste of what it takes to undergo training in small business development and management.” This training is expected to help the stakeholders to manage their businesses better. The sessions started from 9AM until 4PM. Later in the evening, a Town Hall session was organized where different units of the agencies being part of this initiative will make presentations. The presentation will touch on the various programs the government has in place at the moment.
During the second part of the event, a formalization clinic will take place. Several agencies connected to businesses will be available to provide information about their services. These include the San Pedro Town Council, Labour Department, Belize Tax Service, Belize Social Security, Belize Tourism Board, BELTRAIDE, Belize Companies, and Corporate Affairs, Registry, DFC, National Bank of Belize, the different local banks (Belize Bank, Atlantic Bank, Central Bank of Belize) and St. Xavier Credit Union, the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Belize Bureau of Standards, Digi Belize, and others.
The last day of the MSME Roadshow will see a pop-up market at Central Park, where local businesses will have the opportunity to showcase the products made on the island. “The idea is to connect them with customers and resorts and other tourism stakeholders,” said Quiroz. This is to encourage more support for local small businesses by consuming products and services made in San Pedro.
The MSME Roadshow was launched on August 5th by Prime Minister Honourable Dr. John Briceño and will end on November 25th in Belize City. At the end of the program, the government expects to have raised awareness of the importance of supporting small entrepreneurs and the local economy. Prime Minister Briceño explained that such support is deemed crucial given small business roles in creating jobs, strengthening communities, and increasing economic prosperity. The campaign also aims to provide avenues of recovery to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, the rising costs of doing business, and increased competition because of globalization. Therefore, Belizeans are encouraged to join forces to ensure that MSMEs have opportunities, fair access to finance, and other support programs to improve their competitiveness and services.

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