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JA T&T signs US$55,000 WEAmericas Grant
On March 13, Chargé d’Affaires at the United States Embassy Thomas Smitham and Junior Achievement of T&T’s Chief Executive Officer, J Errol Lewis, signed a US$55,000 grant to pave the way for a project to provide business development training; mentorship and access to loans for young women. The grant was made available under the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas) Small Grants Initiative.
At the signing ceremony, Chargé Smitham said he was enthusiastic to see the project get off the ground and was looking forward to the continued partnership with Junior Achievement. Lewis, too, expressed delight at having been awarded the grant and said it was “a fantastic opportunity to assist young women entrepreneurs with realising their dreams.” The JA T&T project is among 28 in 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries to receive more than US $1.5 million through the WEAmericas Small Grants Initiative.
JA T&T was announced as the national winner by Ambassador Liliana Ayalde, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs during her visit to T&T in December last year.
President Obama announced and Secretary Clinton launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas (WEAmericas) initiative at the Summit of the Americas in April 2012. WEAmericas leverages public-private partnerships to increase women’s economic participation in Latin America and the Caribbean by reducing barriers women often confront in starting and growing Small and Medium Enterprises: access to training and networks, access to markets, and access to finance.
Investing in women-owned small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is one of the best ways to achieve economic, financial, and social impact. Research shows that women-owned SMEs are significant accelerators of economic growth, as women tend to spend more of their earned income than men on the health and education of their families. As a result, women-owned SMEs yield significant social impact, and bolster future gains in productivity.
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