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BELTRAIDE makes presentation at National Women’s Forum hosted by Women’s Department


On May 19th 2016,  Ms. Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise and Innovation Division, Beltraide,   presented to a roomful of women from all over the country on the  role of the Small Business  Development Centre (SBDCBelize), Beltraide, in  creating economic prosperity through entrepreneurial development, business innovation and competitiveness.

Ms. Gideon shared an inspiring analogy, describing the process of opening a business to being similar to that of childbirth. She shared that in the same way an expecting mother awaits the birth of her child with eager anticipation and most times,worry, a new business owner worries over the success of his or her business. She explained that just as how family and friends offer guidance with  the care of the new child, Business Advisors at SBDCBelize  assist  business owners to nurture and grow their businesses.

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Lejia Melanie Gideon- General Manager, Enterprise and Innovation Division, Beltraide

In her presentation, Ms Gideon encouraged the women to explore their potential to become entrepreneurs by becoming a client of SBDCBelize and partaking in their free business advising sessions and year-long workshops offered currently in all districts.   She also shared information on the work of the Belize Training and Employment Centre (BTEC), another unit of Beltraide, which provides  various industry-specific job preparedness trainings in areas such as: Business Process Out-Sourcing (BPO), Front Desk, Bartending, Waitstaff, Basics of Care-Giving and more.

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She encouraged all women to take advantage of the opportunities offered to them by Beltraide and asked those interested to visit the offices or send an email guaranteeing that every query will be answered.

Beltraide, which operates within the portfolio of the Ministry of Economic Development, Petroleum, Investment, Trade and Commerce, aims to  enable a dynamic business environment  for Belize’s socio-economic growth  and looks forwards to an ongoing partnership with the Women’s Department which continues to encourage the economic development and empowerment of women through various programmes and projects.

The forum was an all day event and included other presentations from representatives of Credit Unions, the Cooperative Department, the Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technology and many others.

 

 

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THE IMPORTANCE OF COMPETITION DURING ECONOMIC RECESSION


During 2015, the effects of the 2008 financial crisis continued to impact negatively on the economic and social welfare of the CARICOM Member States and their citizens.
Unfortunately, another difficult year is ahead of us with many economic challenges anticipated both within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) and extra-regionally. The global economy is projected to show modest growth when compared to 2015. However, at the regional level the situation remains uncertain with potential downside risks including falling global oil and commodity prices and bouts of financial volatility, which could result in lower than expected economic growth for Member States.
The CARICOM Competition Commission (CCC) is acutely aware that as economic improvement is slow in coming, and as domestic demand within the Member States remains weak, anti-competitive conduct such as collusive agreements and abuse of dominance are likely to abound in 2016. Additionally, unfair trade practices of large companies against small and medium-sized businesses may also harm the economies in the CSME, and ultimately reduce consumer welfare.

The CCC is also mindful that in difficult economic times, Governments sometimes believe that they are protecting consumers by restricting competition in key sectors such as utilities, health, public procurement and energy. This is done by preventing the entry of new players into markets through licensing and regulatory restrictions; regulating prices through price or margin controls; and limiting certain contracts only to local firms e.g. office furniture, and stationery and office supplies, drugs, and road works.
The CCC therefore views 2016 as a pivotal year in the enforcement of competition law, as well as advocacy for consumer protection in the region. This is with the unrelenting view that competition and consumer protection initiatives can help ease the difficulties faced by consumers as a result of anti-competitive conduct and austere Government policies implemented during periods of recession.

For 2016, drawing upon the work program which has already been approved by Member States, the CCC will continue to vigorously protect and maximise consumer welfare in the CARICOM region. Accordingly, the CCC intends to make consumers the focus of its message to Governments and parliamentarians, sector regulators, the business community, and other special interest groups such as the judiciary, media, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
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In this regard, the CCC will continue to work closely with National Consumer Protection Agencies and Consumer NGOs in CARICOM Member States on initiatives which commenced in 2015 such as:
• The establishment of national and regional consumer complaints databases and their effective uses for consumer protection enforcement;
• Research into priority areas for consumers such as financial services and utility regulation; and
• Consumer education.
With respect to competition policy, the CCC will establish the CARICOM Competition Network (CCN) in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat CSME Unit, and national competition authorities (NCAs) in the CSME, in 2016. The CCN will seek to encourage closer collaboration between NCAs on matters such as:
• Harmonization of investigation procedures;
• Administrative and legislative barriers to efficiency in competition investigations;
• Information exchange;
• Development of CSME Product Market Indicators; and
• Competition Training and Education programme.

In conclusion, as the designated regional advocate for competition and consumer protection, the CCC takes this opportunity to encourage Governments and sector regulators to view this period of financial constraints as an opportunity to implement or enforce policies that maximise competition among existing operators; facilitate entry and investment of new entrants into markets; and modernise the legislative and regulatory framework for competition and consumer protection. For its part, the CCC will continue to promote and lay the groundwork for the principles of competition law and policy and the effectiveness of consumer protection enforcement in the region.

Further information about the work of the CCC, can be accessed by contacting admin@ccc.sr with your questions or by utilising the query facility on http://www.caricomcompetitioncommission.com

Apply Now for Caribbean Idea Marketplace Matching Grants


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Office of the Spokesperson

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                                  March 22, 2012

2012/436

MEDIA NOTE

Applications are being accepted now for Caribbean Idea Marketplace matching grants.  The deadline for applications is May 31, 2012.  The Caribbean Idea Marketplace (CIM) is a business competition platform that encourages local Caribbean and diaspora entrepreneurs to forge partnerships around innovative projects that will generate employment and economic opportunities in the Caribbean region.  CIM will provide up to $100,000 in matching grants to each winning project.

CIM was officially launched on March 1, 2012, at the Invest Jamaica forum in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which followed Secretary Clinton’s announcement of the initiative during a meeting with Caribbean leaders in Jamaica in 2011.  The Department of State’s partners in this effort include the Inter-American Development Bank’s Compete Caribbean program, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).  Partners also include Digicel, Scotiabank, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). Continue reading “Apply Now for Caribbean Idea Marketplace Matching Grants”

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