Owners of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), persons with startup business ideas, or anyone who has problems sourcing funds to start a business will soon have an opportunity to get help via an Angel Investor, thanks to an initiative taken by Invest SVG.
An Angel Investor is someone of high network who invests their time, money and expertise into early stage businesses in which they have no family connection, with the aim of helping the business to grow and realize a financial return on their investment over the long-term.
Thus, Invest SVG, in its quest to support the development and growth of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and other early-stage firms; launched an Angel Investing Pilot Project on Tuesday 7th May at the Ministry of Finance's conference room. Chairman of Invest SVG, Mr. Tony Regisford, said that the Angel Investor Project is coming at a timely moment. Mr. Regisford, who is also the Executive Director of the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Chamber of Industry and Commerce, stated that MSMEs have complained about access to finance so that Invest SVG had to be creative in sourcing financing opportunities.
Mr. Tony Regisford
Mr. Regisford said it is good that Invest SVG is bringing the business Angel Investor programme to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, although the concept is not new. The Invest SVG Chairman acknowledged the support of the Caribbean Export Development Agency in the Angel Investing Pilot Project and described them as a critical partner. He appealed to the public to make use of the opportunity provided by Invest SVG, and to respond to the application call when it is opened. Persons can apply from across all sectors, Mr. Regisford noted. He stated that he anticipated well-organized ideas from applicants.
Executive Director of Invest SVG, Mrs. Annette Mark, said that in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Government has long since recognized the importance of Small, Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to economic growth, development of informal sectors, and increased employment. Mrs. Mark addressed the challenge that business startups face on approaching traditional financial institutions for financing. Invest SVG saw the need to give special attention to this area, she disclosed.
Mrs. Annette Mark
A call will be going out in the next week to give 16 persons the opportunity to apply for an OECS Angel to Invest capital and expertise in their business, she also stated. According to her, the deadline for the call is Friday, 31st May 2019, and applications will be evaluated by the Caribbean Export Development Agency. Mrs. Mark further explained that the call will have four platforms for pitches by candidates to local Angel Investors, from April to September 2019. After which, winners of each pitch will qualify to pitch at the grand finale in October at the 'Everything Vincy Plus Expo 2019'.
Winners of the four pitches will also receive a cash prize of US $500 and training for the final pitch in October hosted by Invest SVG, Mrs. Mark added. The Angel Investing Pilot Project is an “exciting project for us” at Invest SVG, which will build synergies and relationships, and empower persons within our society, the Executive Director of Invest SVG affirmed.