by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Today Thursday, 12 April 2018, an information session for businesses and Business Support Organisations will be held at the GIDC
Micro, small and medium Grenadian enterprises with export capabilities are in line to receive a financial injection of up to 50,000 Euros as part of a grant scheme made available by the Caribbean Export Development Agency through their Direct Assistance Grant Scheme (DAGS).
Over the last 20 years, the Caribbean Export Development Agency has been supporting firms within CARIFORUM by offering services such as capacity building and technical assistance, access to finance through grants and the provision of useful information and resources to support a business’s needs to become export ready. It is the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) group since being established in 1996 by an Inter-Governmental Agreement as the trade promotion agency of the 15 Member States of CARIFORUM.
The scheme, which comes under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, provides grant funding to legally registered firms/individuals/Business Support Organisations (BSOs) with the potential to export their products and services.
Today Thursday, 12 April 2018, an information session for businesses and Business Support Organisations (BSOs) will be held at the Grenada Investment Development Corporation (GIDC) in Grand Anse for businesses to get information about the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme, how to apply and the process of reimbursement.
The session will be conducted by facilitator Christopher McNair, from the Caribbean Export Competitiveness and Export Promotion.
Speaking with NOW Grenada McNair said the level of financial support has increased since the completion of the 10th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme. “Under the 10th EDF, we had a maximum of 30,000 Euros and a minimum of 5,000 Euros so we have effectively increased the amount available to companies for grants to now providing as much as 50,000 Euros.”
While outlining the new requirements of the fund McNair said companies can also benefit from getting assistance in remodelling their structure if needed to make them more efficient.
“There are a number of other services we provide that are geared towards improving the structure of companies to allow them to better absorb investment whether through grants or private investment…but there is no structured programme to allow companies to address their constraints before they apply for the grant bearing in mind that the grant is for them to execute one particular project that addressing a plethora of problems within the organisation.”
Explaining further he says companies in the region because of their size and scale have a number of challenges. “What we try to do is to make companies understand the objective of the programme that is to try an increased export and allow them to be more competitive on the global landscape.”
The 11th European Development Fund EDF was signed in June 2015 and has allocated over $300 million to address focal areas: regional cooperation and integration, climate change, environment, disaster management, and sustainable energy and crime and security. It will cover the period 2014 to 2020.