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SMEs get grants to boost business

Features


Debra Greaves

Seamoss harvesting project. - Ann Harvey
Seamoss harvesting project. – Ann Harvey

Eight small and microenterprises (SMEs) from the region received US$13,500 in micro from the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (Canari)

The grants will support strengthening of these businesses for development of sustainable community livelihoods.

The beneficiaries come from the Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The microgrants are a key component of the regional project Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean (PISCES) which is being funded by the European Union, said a media release.

The grants were awarded under the Caribbean Sea Innovation Fund (CarSIF) facility established by Canari in 2019 to address priority needs and actions in the Caribbean on marine and coastal resources governance and management.

The SME awardees are Captain Phil and Mel’s Bonefishing Guide Services of The Bahamas; Local Area Management Authority for Soufriere Scott’s Head Marine Reserve, Dominica; Petite Martinique Women in Action, Grenada; KOOPA-3B, Haiti; KOOPEK-3B, Haiti; Bluefields Bay Fishermen Friendly Society, Jamaica; Eco South Tours Inc, St Lucia; and Ashton Multipurpose Co-operative Ltd, St Vincent and the Grenadines.

These SMEs are operated by local community entrepreneurs and are based on the sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems. The microgrants will support the SMEs with developing business plans and marketing strategies, capacity building in core business areas such as financial management and record keeping as well as climate proofing and/or greening of their business operations, the release said.

All projects are expected to be completed by the end of February 2021. The SMEs will receive technical support to implement their projects from Canari and in-country SME mentors who have been trained by Canari in SME capacity strengthening, climate proofing and greening methodologies under the PISCES project.

Ashton Multipurpose Co-operative Ltd (AMCO) is a community-led seamoss co-operative which is based on Union Island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

AMCO has received a CarSIF SME microgrant to build capacity of its members in financial management, record keeping and marketing, to enhance their sea moss business operations.

The four-year (2017 -2020) PISCES project is being implemented by Canari in partnership with the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation (C-CAM), the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations (CNFO), the Environmental Awareness Group, the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine (FoProBiM), Sustainable Grenadines Inc (SusGren), and the Saint Lucia National Trust.

PISCES will contribute to addressing priority issues and needs in the Caribbean by enhancing marine and coastal biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihoods and socio-economic development.

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