BA-1 Project participants beginning their business plans
Tuesday, January 19th, 2016
While 34 women from Ambergris Caye continue to wait on their BA-1 Project grants to start or expand their businesses, some have begun working on their business plan. The women were part of a training seminar called ‘Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking Project BA-1’ which was designed for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. The program indicated that it would assist the participants with the necessary tools, knowledge and a grant to expand their business ideas. That financial assistance promised in the training has not been forthcoming, but some participants have set their lessons and plans into action.
Since the completion of the seminar back in May, there have been two meetings in which the women are given dates when they would receive the funds. While some continue to wait on the financial assistance, a few of the graduates revealed their business plans to be executed if and when they receive the grants.
One of the graduates wants to expand her food business. To give it a start, she has been investing little by little in kitchen utensils, and she is trying to come up with a menu. Presently, she is selling at different locations on the island, especially during sporting events.
Another of the successful candidates of the program was a bit more innovative and wants to try something different from the ordinary services already available on the island. She indicated that her business plan is to open a shoe shop for men, women and children. She explained that she had already contacted a supplier, had as well worked on a budget for the project and was already taking orders from potential customers. She had also sought assistance from a friend to find a spot in town where she was going to open her shoes business. However, everything is on standby at the moment and waiting for the situation with the grants to be resolved.
The Women’s Department in Belize City stated that they are following the development of the situation and are waiting for the release of the funds. In the past a date was given after the donors had agreed on it, but unfortunately nothing happened. This year, they have received information from the donors who plan to be at the ceremony when the funds are distributed. It is expected to happen however, they cannot reveal a date as yet. Meanwhile, organizers of the project apologize and appreciate the patience the project’s participants have had during the past months. They are expecting to have some updates sometime next week.
The majority of the 34 women blame the delay as a reason why they have not completed any business plan. Some have been seeking employment, all while demand answers regarding the grants. Some have become so dependent on the promise of the financial assistance that they have done little or nothing to come up with a business plan. They would like to know if they are waiting in vain.
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