Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 24, 2023 (SKNIS): The Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) of the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship celebrated 40 distinguished small business entrepreneurs from St. Kitts at a brief yet significant ceremony on October 24 in the Ministry’s Conference Room at Port Zante. In recognition of their exceptional achievements, they were awarded certificates and grant funding to further boost their enterprises.
This initiative was conducted under the 40/40 Booster Grant Programme, which was introduced in light of St. Kitts and Nevis’ 40th Independence Anniversary in September and is an embodiment of the ministry’s commitment to strengthen small businesses in the Federation.
The Honourable Samal Duggins, Minister of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, while addressing the recipients, emphasized the ministry’s pledge to continuously seek innovative ways to bolster small businesses.
He said from the 200 applications received, the selection process was rigorous, revealing the high caliber of entrepreneurship in the Federation. The 40 entrepreneurs now shoulder the significant duty of showcasing the potential and resilience of St. Kitts and Nevis’ small business sector.
“You have to be a shining light to the entire country and prove that you are deserving of being in the 40 listed persons,” said Minister Duggins”
The Honourable Minister stressed the importance of results, urging the grant recipients to demonstrate the significance of such initiatives.
“I am delighted to see the pride and joy on all the faces in the room. I want to echo the sentiment that it is important for you to show results because in trying to acquire money to do this one of the things we were challenged with is the idea of how much would have been given to small businesses and very little to show for it,” said the minister. “I want us this time around to prove them wrong and I also want you to make it easier for the next set of small businesses because the more you show success, the easier it is for us to get more of these and do more. I need that success to be shown so that people understand the importance of supporting the sector.”
Delrine Taylor, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, also spoke at the ceremony. She noted that the occasion is a symbol of the Ministry’s dedication to the small business community. She said coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, these grants will act as a catalyst to rejuvenate businesses, rekindling the spirit of entrepreneurship, and stimulating St. Kitts and Nevis’ economy.
As the Federation’s backbone, the success of these small businesses reflects the progress and potential of St. Kitts and Nevis. Minister Duggins said that the ministry stands ready to assist them, propelling the nation to greater economic heights.