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Beltraide to Invest Eighteen Thousand Dollars in Start Up Business Through Video Competition

Beltraide through the support from the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) is looking to invest close to twenty thousand Belize dollars to a relatively new business. A Start-Up initiative has been launched which will see small and medium enterprises conducting elevator pitches of their business idea. An elevator pitch is a 60-second window that every applicant will have to sell their business idea to a panel of judges. According to the Executive Director at Beltraide, Leroy Almendarez, there are several factors being looked at including innovation.

Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director, BELTRAIDE: “The Taiwanese Embassy or the Taiwan Embassy is sponsoring the Women Economic Empowerment Aspect of the Belize Investment Summit. This feature we thought would be very interesting because too often you hear a start up saying ‘I have certain challenges and one of the main ones being access to finance.’ and so since we are featuring startups at this initiative what is expected here is really you have one minute, and when I say one minute it means because you will submit a one minute video. This is your pitch it’s called an elevator pitch with your business idea and that business idea, that video will be evaluated or assessed by a panel that will be set up and once the panel reviews all of these pitches or all of these videos then one lucky startup will be selected and it will be announced on the 11th. Now what are some of the qualifiers ? One, and as you had rightly mentioned yes we’re catering only to Belize enterprises. Only to enterprises from Belize. One, you must be 18 years and over. Your startups must comply with the laws of Belize, in other words we’re looking for legal businesses. You must say why investing in your start up is a great idea because we’re looking at innovations so be innovative, be creative. Think about sustainability you know those things can be captured. And then of course it must be an idea from an entity that has been operating for less than a year. The deadline for this is November 9th which is next Tuesday.”

One of the questions posed to Dr Almendarez is the follow up after the money is awarded. He assured our newsroom that there will be a monitoring mechanism to follow the Start-Up award.

Leroy Almendarez, Executive Director, BELTRAIDE: “You ask about the monitoring aspect of it and that is important and that is why an entity that wants to submit make sure that you in yourself know that your project is sustainable, your project is innovative and creative because the panel that will be put together will go through these very thoroughly. This is not just about giving away money, this is about giving money to an idea, to a concept, to a business that shows that it is sustainable. So this is that opportunity where entities take those ideas and put them together because those are the criteria that will be looked at. The other thing that we would normally do for example through our small business development center or through our Export Belize Unit, any entity we work with we provide advising, we provide training and assisting in the case where a business plan might be required or something like that and we follow up. In other words we hold your hand and we can actually take you through an ecosystem that exists within BELTRAIDE so you can start and progress through to the point where you might actually want to export because you have grown and even then we find out what kind of markets exist, market studies, what are the requirements to penetrate those markets so we do so and I’m saying that simply because that’s what we do and in terms of losing money no we follow through.”

Interested persons have until November 9 to submit their pitches.