Premier Dr D Orlando Smith said his government will this year improve the mechanism in place to help Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), adding that temporary housing will be provided to start-ups that are promising.
“We will introduce a business incubator programme where we will offer temporary housing for promising small businesses where they will have a physical space – IT, hot desks, and conferencing facility – from which to operate. They will have access to an array of sources in regional and local professionals. This is important because we understand that small and micro businesses provide approximately 50 percent of the 20,000 jobs in the British Virgin Islands,” he said during his 2017 budget speech on Monday.
Premier Smith, who also is the minister of finance, promised to relocate the National Business Bureau that was established in 2013 to help develop the SME sector.
He added that the Bureau will be better staffed.
“In 2017, we will add two new senior staffers to ensure that there is relevant expertise within the Bureau and to develop additional programmes to support new entrepreneurs with finance, accounting, customer service, marketing, business development and operations,” Premier Smith continued.
“My Government is developing a resource centre that will be housed in the basement floor of the Trade Department. It will be the home of the Bureau from where we will be able to facilitate and effectively manage the programmes offered to the local SMEs. We will partner with the COSME – an EU funded programme established and managed by my Government to facilitate regional SME development.”
Premier Smith further noted the BVI has ‘very high entrepreneurial prowess especially among the young’.
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