Micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) have been generally stated as vital in the creation of employment, income generation, and other outcomes. In Belize, the high number of MSMEs is indisputable; yet, little empirical exploration has been formulated to “quantify the number, sizes, employment figures, ownership, gender distribution, geographical locations etc.” of MSMEs. It is crucial; therefore, to obtain such information to develop any policy or strategy for this sector.
The CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) is providing technical assistance to BELTRAIDE by funding a Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Policy and Strategy for Belize. The ultimate objectives of this project are to:
- Agree on a definition of MSME
- Identify issues & constraints of MSME development
- Define specific activities and programs that will address prioritized issues/constraints
- Plot the way forward for sustainable MSME sector
A survey of seven firms who attended a recent CARICOM consultation on December 8th identified significant issues. Accounting for 71% of this priority issues is access to credit, energy cost, and business support services. BELTRAIDE is coordinating a series of national MSME Consultations from January 23th to February 3rd to refine policy initiatives to match the issues facing the MSME sector. These consultations will be participative and activity oriented in order to solicit the views and opinions of the participating MSMEs.