Government Remains Committed To MSME Sector

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Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman; making a point at the workshop. Listening intently are??Permanent Secretary, Ruth Blackman (centre), and??Personal Assistant, Samantha Rock. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

An average of $5 million in loans has been disbursed by FundAccess over the last two years.

This disclosure was made recently by Minister of Industry, Small Business and Rural Development, Denis Kellman, as he addressed at the closing ceremony of a workshop which was hosted by FundAccess in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank, at the Courtyard by Marriott.

The Minister noted that a major challenge facing the micro, small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector was accessing finance and highlighted FundAccess as one of the facilities which Government had put in place to address the issue.

"For the current financial year this agency has approved a total of 115 loans in the amount of $4,539,143. Within this number are 21 businesses which have been refinanced," Minister Kellman stated.

Alluding to the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC) and the Enterprise Growth Fund Ltd., the Small Business Minister confirmed that "several small businesses …have been able to break through the export market.

"For some of them cash flow has been a challenge in fulfilling the orders they have been getting. However, they have been able to benefit from the Export Fund which is currently administered by the Enterprise Growth Fund."

He reaffirmed Government’s commitment to the MSME sector, stating that Cabinet "will do all in its power to create the enabling environment [in which] it [the sector] needs to succeed".

The workshop, entitled Financial Management Techniques for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, was designed to educate and empower MSME operators and provide a forum where they could work together to find solutions to challenges such as financial management.

sharifa.medford@barbados.gov.bb

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