Basseterre, St. Kitts, March 30, 2022 (SKNIS): The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis today, March 30, joined other Caribbean countries to kick-start a Women’s Empowerment Guarantee Project aimed at supporting countries in Latin America and the Caribbean in boosting their economies after the COVID-19 Pandemic, as well as maintaining social stability through enhancing women’s economic empowerment.
“This journey of entrepreneurial funding for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) as funded by our closest friend the Taiwanese began last year with the commencement of entrepreneurial training for women,” said the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, Minister of Social Development and Gender Affairs, during a virtual signing ceremony, held at the National ICT Centre. “For the first three cohorts in St. Kitts, 120 persons signed up. While a few may have dropped out, well over 100 completed the programmes and benefited in both training and financing, covering such areas in business ideas, food and beverage and beauty care.”
The March 30 ceremony signaled the commencement of the second component of the project which consists of two (2) categories. Category one (1) includes the provision of credit guarantees to the target market through the Participating Lenders, up to 85 percent of the funds, that is, US$4,250,000, while category two (2) speaks to support for the implementation of the Project (costs for project promotion activities and staffing and other costs related to project implementation), up to 15 percent of the funds, that is, US$750,000, which will be withdrawn in accordance with Section V, Schedule 2 of this Agreement.
Minister Hamilton used the occasion to express gratitude to the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) and encouraged women to capitalize on the project.
“I want to thank our closest ally Taiwan, who, for over 38 years, has supported many initiatives in St. Kitts and Nevis benefiting our people,” he said. “I look forward to the women taking advantage of this opportunity and providing for themselves and their families.”
The countries that will be covered under this particular arrangement are the countries that participate in the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC) guarantee programme, and that also choose to participate in the Taiwan ICDF programme. This will be done by the provision of partial credit guarantees to Participating Lenders that service the target market – Women Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).