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February 2014

CARIBBEAN EXPORT URGES PRIVATE SECTOR TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AVAILABLE FUNDS


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Bridgetown, BARBADOS, February 28, 2014.  Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) urges the regions private sector to take advantage of the funds made available under the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme facilitated by the Agency as part of of the Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

 

Firms can apply for grants of up to €30,000 providing firms meet the eligibility criteria, their applications are accepted and they are exporting or demonstrate the potential to export goods and services.

 

Throughout 2012 and 2013 the Agency has conducted grant proposal workshops across CARIFORUM to prepare BSOs and firms ahead of this current Call for Proposals that was announced on January 17, 2014.   In the previous Call for Proposals in 2012 the Agency received two hundred and thirty-nine (239) applications that attained or exceeded the eligibility threshold.It is hoped that in this penultimate year of the 10th EDF the Agency receives a record number of applicants to maximise the utilisation of the funds made available and increase the number of businesses that are awarded.

  Continue reading “CARIBBEAN EXPORT URGES PRIVATE SECTOR TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AVAILABLE FUNDS”


Preliminary Estimates of GDP for 2013 and January 2014 Consumer Price Index

Grow your Business


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We are delighted to inform you of another opportunity for growth-oriented, innovative women entrepreneurs and business owners across the region: : “Grow your Business” (GyB) 2014 workshops have today been launched by the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC), as part of the ‘Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean’ (EPIC) being implemented by infoDev, a department of the World Bank, in partnership with Canada’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD).

GyB 2014: Transform Your Business through Innovation

These workshops are designed for women entrepreneurs to develop a fresh approach to their business.  Over a three-day period, participants will explore new ideas to expand and improve their current business offerings, refine their unique selling propositions, better engage their existing customers and forge new business relationships.  Our intention is that this GyB experience will empower entrepreneurs to fulfil their new business visions with ease and confidence.

Two GyB workshops will be held: 1st – 3rd April 2014 in Antigua; and 8th – 10th April 2014 in St. Lucia.    

To apply, complete the WINC/GyB 2014 Application form ( https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=GlBlu12aTuB0891uRqx5vw_3d_3d ) by midnight EST 9th March 2014.    

Questions can be sent to WINCinfo@worldbank.org (with cc. ksmith3@worldbank.org) or submitted via http://www.facebook.com/WomenInnovatorsNetworkCaribbean.  Responses to all questions will be posted on WINC’s FB page so that the same information is accessible to everyone.

Please feel free to circulate this message to your networks within the Caribbean entrepreneurship community.

The “new” debt crisis, and why austerity won’t work


The “new” debt crisis, and why austerity won’t work

January 30, 2014

January 22, 2014///by Daryl Dujon

 The problem of toxic debt levels in the Caribbean is neither new nor particularly surprising, given the established trends in government spending even amidst poor economic performance and dismal growth prospects. However, the recent and ongoing involvement of the Inter

national Monetary Fund (IMF) in the region’s economic affairs and the familiar championing of spending cuts and austerity are cause for concern, especially with the Fund’s history of botched economic experiments in Latin America (including Argentina) , Asia and now Greece. While huge public spending cuts seem to be a band-aid for the economic hemorrhaging, they are inadequate and short sighted solutions to the much bigger problem of creating (and supporting) economic growth.

The basics of budget deficits, and why they keep happening

Simply put, deficits exist because governments spend more than they receive through taxation in a given budget year.* This spending is often wasteful: used to maintain or increase core political support; lost through white elephant (often infrastructural) projects with no return on investment; or pumped into social spending with no positive social gain. In a recessionary period, however, the effect of budget deficits is amplified by contractions in growth and employment and corresponding reductions in tax revenue. There is pressure to increase social spending, which cannot realistically be done in cash-strapped economies without significantly increasing public debt. Continue reading “The “new” debt crisis, and why austerity won’t work”

#1 Island In the World-Again!


 

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Belize City, Belize – February 19, 2014 – For a second year in a row, Ambergris Caye is the ‘#1 Island in the World,’ according to Trip Advisor’s 2014 Travellers’ Choice Islands Award. Ambergris Caye beat out destinations such as Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in the Society Islands, and even Marco Island in Florida, for the coveted title

According to Trip Advisor, “The beautiful Belize island offers the perfect blend of modern development and laid-back tranquility.” Recognizing the natural resources and beauty of Ambergris Caye and its surroundings, Trip Advisor cites the Blue Hole as a part of what makes this destination so appealing, “Reef divers drool over the Belize Barrier Reef and the Blue Hole, a 400-feet deep circle of limestone that teems with angelfish, elkhorn coral, cleaner shrimp and stalactites.”

 

Very proud and happy about this recognition for Belize, Hon. Manuel Heredia, Jr., Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Civil Aviation, says that collaboration and hard work with industry partners, coupled with satisfied guests, made this possible, “We are honored that Ambergris Caye is once again the #1 Island In The World. The commitment and love invested in this industry have not gone unnoticed. We are thankful for the great partnership that we enjoy with our stakeholders and applaud their dedication to the standards that they keep setting not just for Belize, but also for the global tourism industry. We are also very grateful to the travelers for sharing their wonderful experiences with the Trip Advisor community, because without the visitors this award would not have been possible.”

 

This announcement follows the recognition of several properties in Belize in the 2014 Travellers’ Choice Awards.

 

To view the full list of the Top 10 Islands in the World, please visit http://bit.ly/1fdBh4Y

 

About the Belize Tourism Board

 

The Belize Tourism Board (BTB) is a statutory body within the Belize Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and it is governed by a Board of Directors appointed by the Minister of Tourism and Culture.  The BTB works in conjunction with members of the private sector – including the Belize Hotel Association, Belize Tourism Industry Association and Belize National Tour Operators Association – and is dedicated to building tourism in the most economically and environmentally sustainable manner.  As a part of its responsibilities, the BTB promotes Belize as a premier tourism destination to both in-country and international consumers.  Among its outreach to the international travel market, the BTB markets the country’s unique attractions to travellers, members of the travel trade industry and media outlets in key markets.

The BTB is also dedicated to developing and implementing tourism programs that will help strengthen and grow the Belizean tourism industry; promote good destination stewardship; and instil high quality standards for accommodations and travel experiences.  For more information on the BTB and its services, visit www.travelbelize.org.

For more information please feel free to contact:

Jana Puga 

Media & Public Relations Officer

Belize Tourism Board        

Email-jpuga@travelbelize.org

Contact: 227-2488 /227-2420        

Website: www.travelbelize.org

 

 

US Embassy Belmopan Woman of the Year 2014 Award


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Development of your business


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DAGS is reimbursement grant funding facility specifically designed to provide financial assistance to legally registered firms/individuals/Business Support Organisations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services. DAGS is a reimbursement facility which means that no monies are advanced to beneficiaries and they will  have to incur the full cost of their projects and be reimbursed on completion of their projects. A grant may not be awarded retrospectively. The objective of DAGS is as follows:

  • Opening new markets; increasing exports to the Caribbean Region and/or other International Markets
  • Lowering production costs
  • Identifying new sources of supply for raw materials or other inputs
  • Increasing productivity through training and personnel development
  • Facilitating Trade Mark, Intellectual Property and Copyright Protection
  • Reducing environmental impact
  • Capitalising on the benefits of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), CARICOM Single Market Economy (CSME), CARICOM-Dominican Republic FTA or any other bilateral or multilateral arrangements signed by the region within the region or with ACP or EU partners
  • Fostering intra-regional cooperation to enhance productivity and capitalise on economies of scale
  • Promoting programmes which will impact on underdeveloped areas or disadvantage sectors within the region (e.g. rural area development and gender)

Eligibility Criteria

In order to be eligible for a grant, applicants must:

i.            Be a firm (i.e. entity, individual or company) legally registered and operating in a CARIFORUM member state; or

ii.            Be a legally registered Business Support Organization (BSOs) in a CARIFORUM member state partnering with at least two (2) private sector firms;

iii.            Be firms trading and operational for at least two (2) years supported by last two years financial statements/accounts (no start-ups);

iv.            Be able to finance and sustain their projects fully at the beginning; that is 100% financing is available prior to project initiation; and

v.            Be exporting or demonstrate their potential to export goods and services. Continue reading “Development of your business”

The Importance of Capacity Building and How to Get Started


Capacity building is the term used frequently by foundations and nonprofit leadership to ascertain the ability of an organization to effectively achieve it s mission. This article describes capacity building, and why it is important in addition to offering a starting point for engaging in capacity building.

Definition of Capacity Building

Capacity building is defined as the ability of an organization to achieve their mission in an effective manner. It can also be described as the strategies or actions that an organization takes to ensure that it has the resources needed to succeed. These actions can include: resource development, financial management (diversification of funding sources), organizational learning, leadership development and other activities. In other words, capacity building is any set of actions that an organization takes to improve its ability to perform successful in its chosen area.

The term or concept also relates to the commitment of foundations and other entities to help nonprofit organizations to become high performing entities by supplying information, instruction and guidance.

Importance of Capacity Building to Future Success

Nonprofit organizations occupy an invaluable niche in a community. These entities provide needed social services, education, health care and the arts that improve the well being of the community and on which many people depend. The environment in which nonprofits operate has become increasingly complex and challenging as demand for their services increases while their conventional funding streams become more limited, and new technologies emerge that offer new venues for fundraising or interacting with potential and existing supporters.

Capacity building is important because it encourages the leadership of a nonprofit to evaluate their abilities to perform in a complex environment. For example, is the organization missing potential fundraising opportunities by not having a website with the capacity to solicit and receive donations? Should the organization develop its staff so that they can provide a new service that is complementary to their existing array of services?

In addition, capacity building is important because the evaluation process coupled with the implementation component help ensure organizational success and sustainability.

How to Get Started

Deciding change is needed is the first step. Once the need for change has been agreed upon, board members and management should undertake the following (most commonly done as part of their strategic planning process):

1. Evaluate the environment (external) and organization (internal)

Building Bridges in Belize


Building Bridges in Belize

Posted on 02/05/2014

By Minerva Pinelo, PADF Project Director, Youth Engagement Services (YES!) – Belize

Partnerships are invaluable to development. In fact, in Belize they are at the center of a new initiative that will help at-risk youth from marginal areas have a chance to learn new job skills and train to become small business entrepreneurs.

A few days ago, we launched the Youth Engagement Services (YES!) program, a brand new project that will give 53 local youths, ages 18-24, the essential technical training and business advice they will need to succeed in today’s increasingly competitive local labor market. To do this, the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) is bringing together key local partners—the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE), the Conscious Youth Development Program (CYDP) under RESTORE Belize, Samuel Haynes Institute of Excellence, and the Women’s Issues Network (WIN) Belize—to ensure that we provide these young people the best possible environment to succeed.

At the kick-off session, held at a Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) facility in Belize City, the young participants learned firsthand about entrepreneurship. Although many youth already operated informal micro businesses from home or with support of family members, many are interested in establishing a small business that can then grow and provide more services. Continue reading “Building Bridges in Belize”

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