Dominica: PM Skerrit outlines hike in number of youth in MSMEs

PM Skerrit stated that the government had witnessed the rise of small businesses in Dominica, and more young people are taking up entrepreneurship and displaying a high level of creativity and innovation. 

Dominica: PM Skerrit outlines hike in youth in MSMEs
Dominica: PM Skerrit outlines hike in youth in MSMEs

Roseau, Dominica: Prime Minister Dr Roosevelt Skerrit outlined that the government has witnessed a hike in the number of young people in the field of business and entrepreneurship while signing the agreement on the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) loan Facility with the AID Bank on March 6, 2022. 

PM Skerrit stated that the government had witnessed the rise of small businesses in Dominica, and more young people are taking up entrepreneurship and displaying a high level of creativity and innovation. 

While highlighting the importance f the digital space, he said that the young generation is developing an interest in information technology pursuing employment and money-making opportunities online, and creating a business that operates within the digital space. 

He emphasized that various individuals are also involved in small-scale agro-processing and retail. This facility provides an avenue for them to invest and expand their enterprises, create employment and contribute to the growth in the economy. 

This liberal party-led government understands the importance of the contribution of the micro, small and medium enterprises to the Dominican economy, underscored prime minister. 

“I speak here of our processors, the plumbers, electricians, farmers, fishermen, vendors, barbers, hairdressers, retailers, artists and all the other entrepreneurs who ensure that economic activity remains steady. We believe the injection of funds into this sector will positively impact small business activity and touch the life of the common man and indeed the common woman in every village and in every part of Dominica, PM Skerrit added. 

He further encouraged business owners who qualify to take this opportunity to grow their business in a sustainable manner. The funds were secured specifically to grow the small business sector. 

The government will closely monitor the peace and efficiency of the disbursements at the AID bank and stated that he has already informed the bank that these funds must get to every corner of the country during this calendar. 

“This is about people and about enhancing lives and livelihoods, and we must make every effort to ensure our people who are in need of funds benefit in the quickest possible time,” outlined prime minister. 

He further stressed that the country has to be efficient and expressed his pleasure after hearing from the manager that they put a special infrastructure in place at the bank to oversee this particular loan facility. 

“I am encouraged by the growth prospects for the local economy. The IMF and other international financial institutions, including the ECCB, are projecting average growth of up to five percent this year and over the next three to five years for Dominica”, underscored PM. 

He said that the investments aid to build the digital economy and to develop the geothermal plant to transform the energy sector—the constructions of new hotels and the international airport direct flights from the US mainland. Extensive investments in agriculture and increasing export opportunities all position us to realize gradual growth over the next few years. 

“This access to financing falls in line with the growth trajectory we are currently pursuing; it means that you as a small and medium-sized business owner can be part of our thrust to bolster the economy and contribute to the sustainable development of this country, and I want to say to our small business owners that we have to manage our businesses wisely. Money was never meant to be managed as we have a small business.   

He further asserted that 27.4 million dollars given to the age in a difficult period and this money loaned from the CDB and it would come as budgetary support and si it would be at the discretion of the minister of finance to appropriate this funds to anything that he determines is a priority in the country. So this multi-school had gone to roads, they could have to go to the construction of a city defence wall, they could have gone to the construction of police station, it would have gone to the construction of a school, but the cabinet also recognized the importance of the micro and small and medium-sized enterprises in Dominica and its impact on the economy. 

“People rely on these businesses to survive and to create jobs for themselves to create jobs for others, and we took a deliberate decision in the government not to give half or percentage of it but it to give the entire amount because if you go back to my budget address. I have also given 10 million dollars every year over three tears; we are giving all in one fell swoop because the reality is this government and myself as the prime minister”, added PM Skerrit