Today saw the launch of the Caribbean Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) network at the Belize Biltmore Plaza. The newly formalized network of Caribbean SBDC programs will be linked with each other and existing partners located throughout the Western Hemisphere to, not only share successful practices but also to connect their clients with multilateral international trade opportunities. The memorandum was signed today with several Caribbean countries such as St. Kitts and Jamaica. Kim Osbourne, executive secretary for the Organization of American States, stated that they are currently working on other projects they want Belize to engage in.
Kim Osbourne, Executive Secretary, Organization of American States: “Essentially at the OAS within the Secretariat for Integral Development what we have been focused on is on building a sound economic ecosystem within the region, ensuring that our small and medium sized enterprises are able to thrive, are able to deliver real benefits to the people of our countries. We have been implementing what we call the small business development center program across the Caribbean region and the center is designed to work with the institutions that deliver services to MSEs whether it be support services in terms of business planning, financial management, the essential services that small businesses need.”
Tracy Taeger-Panton, Minister of Trade, Investment and Commerce, stated that the benefits of the memorandum will positively impact Belize.
Tracey Taegar Panton, Minister of Trade, Investment and Commerce: “The intention is that the network would be used to share best practices, share opportunities that may come up in the region, you know we are moving to a more integrated single market and economy, to share resources if we can. To troubleshoot when there are challenges that we’re facing particularly challenges due to changes in climate conditions that kind of thing so the network is really meant to be robust and one that supports the greater integration and deepening of economic ties within this region. Well the work continues right ? SBDC over the last seven years of its existence has served over a thousand clients in Belize, we certainly want to accelerate the pace of that to ensure that as many small businesses that would want to access the services that are available that they can do so and they can also use the network that is established by SBDC in Belize and other Caribbean countries to look for access to export markets within the region.”
SBDC Belize has been working hand in hand with Beltraide to provide the mentorship and guidance necessary.