Hosting of fourth MSME Finance and Equity Symposium

By Department of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs

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(PRESS RELEASE) — As part of activities in observance of Business Month 2018 under the theme, “Promoting an Entrepreneurial Culture – Innovation and Creativity,” the Department of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs will be hosting a MSME FINANCE SYMPOSIUM.

The objective of this symposium is to enlighten business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on the various financial instruments available to them and to create the opportunities for business owners to access such instruments. This event will bring together, in one room, a cadre of lenders and investors with business owners seeking their services.

Access to finance and the strategic management of finances has long been considered a major impediment to the growth of small business in Saint Lucia. On one end, the SBDC receives constant feedback from its clients informing that local lending institutions, investment agencies and other funding sources are stringent and do not meet their needs.

At the same time, lenders and investors have been vocal in their opinion that a majority of business owners approaching them for assistance are either ill prepared or ineligible to access the available financial products and services. This divide, does not augur well for the long term development of the MSME sector.

The symposium is primarily targeted towards tire 2 and 3 clients of SEDU, Commerce and Industry and TEPA, i.e. established and/or growth oriented businesses with the potential for expansion. It will consist of a series of presentations from various institutions such as: Bank of Saint Lucia Ltd., Financial Investment and Consultancy Services, Laborie Credit Union, BELfund/SSDF etc. The proposed topics will cover:

Business Banking for SMEs
Investing in your future
How your credit Union can help with business financing
Financing for community micro enterprises
Success story with a focus on obtaining financing

These presentations are geared towards improved knowledge and capacity among business owners during the morning session; while the afternoon, will allow for one on one interaction between owners and lenders/investors.

This event will be held on Thursday, November 8th, 2018 at the Finance Administration Centre, Pointe Seraphine, Castries.

For further information on this activity please contact Mr. Jonathan Allain, Business Development Officer, SEDU at 468-4241/285-3761. To access the calendar of activities slated for November 1st to 30th visit www.facebook.com/sedusaintlucia.

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