Faced with a staggering unemployment rate of over 21 percent, Prime Minister Dr.Kenny Anthony has urged the nation’s youth to become more involved in business as the public sector cannot absorb everyone who needs jobs.
In the last year and half, 492 persons were added to the public service, placing further strain on the public purse. It is against this backdrop that the prime minister has said that innovation in the private sector will be the driving force of change for the local economy.
Addressing participants at a workshop hosted by the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce for Global Entrepreneur Week on Friday, Dr. Anthony said, “That is where the dynamism is, where the future really lies. Imagination really becomes critical in identifying the niches in the economy for investment”.
Government, Dr. Anthony said, is committed to assisting aspiring entrepreneurs. He said the St. Lucia Development Bank, for instance, through its youth enterprise fund, has a pool of $5 million available for lending to emerging enterprises. Ten loans have been given so far in a range of areas.
The prime minister further disclosed that Belfund, as well as SEDU, provides assistance for small business ventures.
Dr. Anthony however conceded that there is more work to be done on the part of government to create a national mindset about entrepreneurship.