Prospective entrepreneurs, who may be hesitant about venturing into their own businesses, have been assured of available assistance from the Rural Development Commission (RDC).

This assurance came from Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Senator Haynesley Benn, over the weekend as he addressed the RDC’s 13th Rural Enterprise Showcase at the Gall Hill Playing Field, St. John.

“For those who are experiencing a sense of hesitancy about launching into your own business, let me assure you that the necessary mechanisms are available to lend assistance to budding enterprises. The facility offers small and medium term loans at reasonable rates, with a maximum repayment period of seven years, and this opens the potential to create further employment,” he explained.

Minister Benn who underscored Government‘s commitment to rural development, said it was their belief that the full potential of the country could not be realized unless there was a holistic approach to development.

“We cannot afford to alienate anyone or any part of the island, and therefore great emphasis must be placed on the development of rural enterprises and the encouragement of new ventures,” he said.

In lauding the record 165 participating entrepreneurs, Senator Benn noted that, in addition to contributing to the reduction of unemployment, the showcases provided a forum for socialization, building community spirit and allowing Barbadians a glimpse into Barbadian and Caribbean culture.

“With each successive enterprise showcase, the expectation is that these events will serve to re-energize farming, agri-business and entrepreneurial communities,” the Minister said, adding that the intention was also to “stimulate the minds and desires of those involved, and those considering involvement, especially the youth, so that as they choose to work in agriculture they would choose to do so with a sense of purpose and with the tenacity to succeed.”

He commended the RDC for its partnership with the Small Business Association in the provision of business management training for small enterprises. Some 1,100 persons completed training during the past year in a range of courses including Record Keeping, Small Business Management , Marketing , Preparation of Business Plans and Quickbooks.

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