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February 2014

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”

World Consumer Rights Day Travelling Booth Display Schedule


The Consumer Protection Unit of the Belize Bureau of Standards will be hosting booth displays at several location throughout February and March 2014 in celebration of World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD). WCRD is celebrated annually on 15th March, this year the theme is, “Fix Our Phone Rights!” We urge the general public to look for your location in the schedule and come out and learn about Consumer Protection in Belize.

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