Kingstown, 19th December 2014: Businesses interested in providing business incubation services are urged to submit expressions of interest before the December 30th, 2014 deadline.
On Friday 28th November 2014, the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines launched a call for business incubators. This call invites businesses to submit expressions of interest to provide business incubation services under the Business Incubation and Training Grants Programme.
To be eligible, the business must be registered and have a physical presence in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. The services to be offered by the incubator could be virtual or residential or both. Businesses must also have a suitably qualified and experienced business incubator manager and support staff.
Kingstown, 19th December 2014: The Government of Saint Vincent and The Grenadines will open its call for training grants proposals in January, 2015.
This initiative, which is being implemented under the ICT-Led Innovation component of the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) St Vincent and the Grenadines, will provide grant funding to Businesses and Non-Government Institutions to deliver training that will enhance the skill set of their employees.
Additionally, the GoSVG will be providing training grants to individuals to receive ICT training at locally registered educational and training institutions.
These grants will be administered under the Business Incubation and Training Grants programme where businesses can apply for maximum grant funding not exceeding EC $150,000 (US $55,800).
This programme is expected to contribute to the Government’s achievement of the following:
1. Highly computer literate Vincentians;
2. Increase in the range of business enterprises utilising modern information and communication technology; and
3. Achieve maturation of the ICT sector by 2025.
Interested applicants are encouraged to plan ahead as they would be required to apply directly to the programme in response to an open call.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is making strides towards creating a new cadre of local entrepreneurs.
Vincentians with dreams of developing their own ICT businesses can now apply for government grants covering the cost of business incubation and training services.
The grants, which are targeted specifically at businesses offering ICT and technology-enabled services, will offer relevant training to be delivered by locally registered institutions.
The initiative is part of a regional programme that aims to foster a different kind of business acumen among Caribbean entrepreneurs. Called CARCIP—the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program—this World Bank-funded project is being executed in parallel across the Eastern Caribbean. St Lucia and Grenada, which are also participating in the project, are rolling out similar initiatives.
The task of stewarding the CARCIP initiative across these territories has been entrusted to the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU). Alongside the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network and the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority, the CTU has been working with the participating governments and other key stakeholders to support the large-scale project.
At the formal launch of the grants in St. Vincent last month, CARCIP Project Coordinator, Roxanne John gave an overview of the program and the grants. Her audience included Government and private sector representatives; among them - Anthony Regisford, Executive Director, Chamber of Commerce, and Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Consumer Affairs and Information Technology.
The ceremony took place at the Kingstown Methodist Church Hall. Regisford delivering remarks took the opportunity to highlight the importance of technology to a wide range of local businesses and young innovators. Among the sectors targeted through the CARCIP grants are tourism, information communication technology, agriculture and fisheries, financial sector, construction, manufacturing, health and wellness, and the creative and cultural industries.
Delivering the feature address, Hon. Gonsalves encouraged local businesses “to embrace information technology”. Establishing an online presence or branching out into online commerce can help local businesses to discover untapped regional and international growth markets, he said.
After the official launch, participants were trained on how to use the grants manual, the formal document that will guide them through the process of administering the grants.
The next step will be a call for expressions of interest for business incubators.