COSME/ European Union, Sponsors Small Medium Enterprise Workshop Held in Providenciales

COSME, a European Union funded programme, sponsored the first SME Policy workshop in Turks and Caicos (TCI) with the vision to create an enabling environment for micro, small and medium enterprises at the TCI Chamber of Commerce Office, Providenciales. 

The workshop aimed to validate the SME Policy for TCI among private and public sector and ensure that the policy elements are owned by the key stakeholders across the territory. This SME Policy was developed by an SME Policy Expert, Tahmina Shafique contracted through the EU funded COSME programme. COSME promotes small business development in the Caribbean OCTs. The vision of the policy is to “inspire entrepreneurs to unlock the potential of TCI and to grow their businesses. It contributes to the development and diversification of the economy of TCI by serving domestic and, increasingly, export markets with high quality and innovative products and services.”

Tahmina Shafique carried out a consultative mission in April 2018 meeting with key stakeholders on key SME policy issues and preparing a final report.

 The SME policy is structured around seven SME policy principles: 

1)  promoting awareness of entrepreneurship, 

2)  think small first or the institutional aspects of an SME policy, 

3) the operational environment for SMEs related to facilitating starting and operating a business,

4) business support services,

5)  access to finance, 

6) innovation and green economy, and

7) export promotion. 

The SME Policy reviews each of these principles in the present situation identifing constraints and proposed measures towards addressing the constraints. 

The workshop was co-hosted by the Ministry of Finance, the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and the Chamber of Commerce. The workshop had 19 participants representing both the public and private sectors including several SMEs. The workshop involved a presentation of the propsed SME policy and its main components by the Tahmina Shafique. Then group discussions were held reviewing the measures proposed in an Action Plan that would guide the implementation of the policy. Presentations were further made by Kyle Smith, Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Commerce and closing remarks were made by Arthur Been, Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Finance.

The next steps will include incorporating the recommendations made at the workshop in a final draft of the SME Policy to be submitted by mid-July. It is expected that by the end of August the SME policy will be submitted for approval to Cabinet.  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The COSME programme specialises in the development of the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the 12 Overseas Countries and Territories, and was launched on April 1, 2014 on Tortola, BVI. The overall objective of the programme is to contribute to the sustainable economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories by improving the competitiveness of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the participating Territories. 

###

Media Contact: Huib Poot                              

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.