August 28, 2012
Local investment agency expecting grant funding for Vincentians

The nation’s investment promotions agency, Invest SVG, says it is anticipating that Vincentians would again receive grant funding through the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA).{{more}}

CEDA is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.

It acts as the trade promotion agency for the 15 CARIFORUM nations, including St Vincent and the Grenadines.

CEDA provides financial assistance to small businesses through its Direct Assistance Scheme. The scheme is a reimbursable one, funded by the European Union.

Under the scheme, CARIFORUM nationals can submit proposals for regular procedures, under which recipients are awarded up to 30, 000 euros. Under the Accelerated Procedures, recipients are awarded up to 5, 000 euros.

Invest SVG quoted its executive director, Cleo Huggins, as saying the agency is hopeful that 100 per cent of the applicants from this country would be awarded grants in 2012, both for the regular procedures which closed on July 6, and the accelerated procedures, for which call for proposals is expected later this year.

“Funding of this nature provides relief for small business operators who generally will not have access to credit based on the type of business that they are in,” the release quoted Huggins as saying.

“Funding, such as that provided by CEDA, would encourage other entrepreneurs in search of funds towards the expansion and development of their businesses to explore alternative sources of funding, and that Invest SVG is willing and ready to help in accessing such funding where it is available,” Huggins further stated.

Huggins mentioned the importance of business registration with Invest SVG, saying doing so allows the agency to better update the business community on funding opportunities from donor agencies.

From 2010 to 2011, 11 local entities benefitted from CEDA’s grant funding scheme, at a combined value of over 100,000 euros.

Awardees were from among the creative industries — fashion and music, agro-processing, professional services, and light manufacturing.

CEDA is expected to make its 2012 grant awardees announcement later this year, as well as launch the proposal call for its Accelerated Procedures grant. Five proposals were submitted from SVG.