Organizers of Sir Richard Branson’s loan programme have announced an application time-frame for persons in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) to seek loans, which they said require no interest rate or down-payment.
The KickStart BVI Small Business Loan programme, however, carries certain conditions.
Persons applying must be eligible for a BVI trade license, must have a component of their business plan being “environmentally or socially conscious”, and must have no other access to financing – including being turned down for traditional bank loans.
The programme organizers further said: “Applications that will be looked at most favorably in final review process will be those that have an innovative idea that encourages diversity in the current market, [as well as those that] create new jobs in the BVI… Proposals that address challenges facing our community and environment with practical, sustainable solutions are the business proposals that will have the best chance of success in the final selection process.”
The time-frame for applications to be submitted is May 15 to June 14. It coincides with two other Branson-related programmes – one of which is The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean (BcoEC).
“The BcoEC programme helps entrepreneurs to be better prepared to access finance for small business loans, which is why the KickStart BVI Small Business Loan programme application window is strategically aligned with the completion of the annual 12 week [BcoEC] programme.”
Organizers, in the meantime, said entrepreneurs in the territory are in a “better position now than ever to receive the support they need to succeed”.
Sir Richard, who struggled at age 15 to finance the start-up of a magazine to help oppose the Vietnam War, has insisted that the terms of his loan programme reflect that experience.
“Therefore, KickStart BVI Small Business Loans are no-interest loans, with feasible repayment time frames and no down-payment required,” the programme organizers further said in a media release. “Traditional business loans from financial institutions can be challenging to attain if an applicant does not have collateral to deposit as down-payment. And no matter how great a business pitch may be – without strong credit history – few banks will take the gamble.”
Persons should email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an Initial Assessment Form in order to benefit from the financing programme, added the organizers.
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