As part of activities in observance of Business Month 2016 under the theme, “Your Passion, Your Business”, the Department of Commerce, International Trade, Investment, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs will be hosting a Finance and Equity Symposium tailored to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The event will be held over two days from Wednesday, November 2 to Thursday, November 3 at the Golden Palm Event Centre in Rodney Heights, Gros Islet.
Access to capital, whether through investment or loan financing, has long been a major impediment to the establishment and growth of local small businesses. Moreover, under the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report 2016, in the area of “Getting Credit”, Saint Lucia has ranked at 152nd out of 189 countries, thus further underlining the issue. Given the constraints faced by MSMEs in accessing needed capital, the symposium will serve as an opportunity to enlighten business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs on the various equity and financing options available to them.
This initiative is in keeping with the Department of Commerce’s mandate to provide training and consultation to entrepreneurs as a means of promoting the sustainable growth of the MSME sector. It will also form a part of planned stakeholder consultations as the Department of Commerce seeks to address the issue of capitalization for small businesses.
The MSME Finance and Equity symposium will bring together a cadre of lenders and investors who will be presenting on various areas of finance, including Managing Your Business Finances, Equity and Debt Financing, and Investment Guidance.
In this second year of the event, the Department of Commerce is also pleased to have on board the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) which will address the audience on issues pertaining to Angel Investment on Day One.
The symposium will also serve as an avenue for networking among MSMEs, lenders and investors in the hope of fostering better understanding among all parties, thereby increasing the opportunity to access the available financial products and services. About 100 local MSMEs will be represented at the two-day event.
For further information on the MSME Equity and Finance Symposium, please contact Business Development Officers Mr. Jonathan Allain at 468-4241/285-3761 or Mr. Esli Lafeuillee at 468-4249/285-4679.