Invest SVG and the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA), in their quest to support business growth and exports, hosted a one day sensitization workshop on the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS). The workshop was held on Friday, April 20th, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conference room.
To this end, several small and medium enterprise owners were present at the sensitization workshop. Deputy Director, Invest SVG, Nadine Agard-Juillerat, said one of the challenges business owners face in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is access to finance and the grant scheme is one way that they can access funds. Mrs Agard-Juillerat expressed thanks to enterprise owners for their interest in the workshop. She urged participants to ask questions and to make full use of their time.
She also announced that three small business enterprises will be mentored by Invest SVG over the next two years. They are: LinkUp, Olive Art Designs, and Grenadine Sea Salt. According to Agard-Juillerat, they were chosen via a partnership with the Caribbean Export Development Agency.
Director of Trade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Commerce, Okolo John-Patrick, said the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme is funded by the European Union under the 11th EDF private sector development programme.
She added that it presented a very important prospect for small and medium size enterprises in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. "We are anticipating that under the 11th EDF, the grant contracts will increase and more Vincentian businesses will be able to benefit from the grant scheme,” she said.
Manager, Competitiveness and Export Promotion of the Caribbean Export Development Agency, Christopher McNair, was one of the main facilitators at the workshop.
He presented on the application and evaluation process for the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme, the diagnostic tool and the reimbursement process.
The workshop was also facilitated by Keisha Phillips, Centre for Enterprise Development (CED) Inc. and Country Advisor to the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme.