MSME Roadshow Kicks Off in Orange Walk to Empower Entrepreneurs

MSME Roadshow Kicks Off in Orange Walk to Empower Entrepreneurs

The second annual MSME Roadshow was officially opened today in Orange Walk Town.  The event serves to empower small business owners and the men and women who are desirous of starting their own business.  Today’s opening showcased the sessions and programs that will be rolling out throughout the roadshow.  CEO in the Office of the Prime Minister, Narda Garcia, explained that one of the focus of the roadshow is access to financing.

Nara Garcia, CEO, Office of the Prime Minister: “Our MSMEs face a myriad of obstacles that require support and intervention. Let me quickly say that this government has been listening through extensive consultations and has been making the changes to ensure a more conducive environment for their growth. Just on Tuesday, the Cabinet approved tackling one of the biggest hurdles MSMEs face, that of access to finance. The Moveable Property Security Rights Bill has been approved to be placed before the House of Representatives for enactment. This roadshow is designed to address these challenges head on. Over the coming weeks we will travel across Belize bringing together a diverse array of experts, business support organizations, and successful entrepreneurs to share their insights and experiences. Our goal is to equip our MSMEs with the tools, knowledge, and networks they need to thrive in a competitive and ever-changing global economy. Each stop of the roadshow features the following activities. One, an MSME boot camp that does business development training, an MSME Toucan Talk tthat does MSME’s entrepreneurial journey stories, MSME formalization clinic that is an informational session by key government agencies, and last but not least,a Buy Belizean Expo on the last day. Today’s agenda is a microcosm of the rich and varied experiences we aim to provide throughout the roadshow.”

Prime Minister John Briceno was present at today’s opening.  He too echoed the importance of opening avenues for starting capital.

Hon. John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize: “Presently the only option you have is a pawn shop. And so once you sign up to a pawn shop you have signed up to fail because the interest rates that they charge I mean it’s verging on being criminal. And so now by doing this now we’ll be able to open up new avenues, new opportunities for you. And I’m so proud to be a part of a government that is very excited and really committed to be able to ensure that we can move this economy, to grow this economy, but to grow it in such a way that is not only the big guys that are benefiting but also the small entrepreneurs in this country.  This roadshow is not just an event it is a testament to our unwavering commitment to fostering a business-friendly environment for MSMEs, the backbone of our economy and the heart of our communities. And yes, it is one more check mark on the list of this administration’s accomplishments that we laid out in Plan Belize. At the onset, again, let me acknowledge the vital role that MSMEs play in the macroeconomic development of our nation. MSMEs fuel our communities, create jobs, and they drive innovation. They are diverse, ranging from family-owned mom and pop shops such as what we see from Farmers’ Daughters, to tech startups, from service providers to artisans. They fuel our orange economy. Most importantly, and listen to this, they contribute to more than 50% of GDP, approximately 70% of employment. And they are strategic in achieving our macroeconomic goals. The MSME sector represents the heart of Plan Belize that is centered around the hopes, dreams and ambitions of the Belizean people. They represent the entrepreneurial spirit that defines Belize, a spirit of ingenuity, hard work and determination. As we embark in this roadshow, our mission is clear: to empower, support, and elevate our MSMEs by providing them an environment conducive to their success.”

The MSME Roadshow goes from June 13 to 15.

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