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Small business grant triples
The Sowing Empowerment through Entrepreneurial Development grant has been raised from $5,000 to $15,000. So said Minister of the People and Social Development Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh yesterday at a press conference at the ministry, St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain. Ramadharsingh said the programme had been rebranded and the grant was raised to assist small business owners and so help reduce poverty.
He said according to the latest statistics, poverty had been reduced from 24 per cent to 14.7 per cent. The programme is a collaboration between the ministry and the United Nations’ Micro Enterprise Loan Project, which ran between 2001 and 2012. “The UNDP was a member of the technical committee for the Survey of Living Conditions in 2005 and the UNDP will be commencing the Regional/Community Poverty Profile in Arima with funding from the Chilean Government and has requested the participation with the ministry,” he said.
He said other countries, such as Suriname, Aruba, Curacao and Martinique, are also working in collaboration with the programme. Bagatelle, Carlsen Field and areas in central Trinidad have high levels of poverty and low-income citizens could be assisted by the project. “Those rearing ducks, eggs, pat choi and aquaculture can be assisted in this very unique ground-breaking development,” he said. Ramadharsingh said that would increase the viability of the business and make tremendous headway in getting small business owners off the ground. Richard Blewitt, UN resident co-ordinator, said the programme was an essential work to the United Nations.