In an effort to achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) plans to introduce a multi-million dollar revolving fund to facilitate loans for all women, and men under 35 years who are interested in setting up small businesses to provide for themselves.
Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance, made the disclosure at his recent press conference at Cabinet Room at Pinney’s Estate.
“We had promised and committed to a $5 million fund which we are calling a revolving fund where we want to make loans of up to EC$100,000 available. We are saying at nominal interest at 2 percent so that those who want some seed money to set up business can have an incubator, so to speak, provided by the NIA…,” He said.
“We’re restricting the fund to women and to men under 35, and that is deliberate because we want to encourage women business ownership and we want to encourage more youth business ownership, and so it might be controversial but that is what we are advocating that more women should own businesses in Nevis and more young men. More young people should own businesses and so that fund of $5 million, we are trying to restrict it to that,” he said.
The Premier noted that the NIA had been speaking with the Republic of China (Taiwan) on the matter and talks are at an advanced stage.
He used the opportunity to encourage those who meet the criteria to take advantage of the opportunity to enter into a business venture.
Brantley reiterated that the business sector, including small and medium businesses, is critical to the development of Nevis.
“I continue to say that small businesses, medium-size businesses, businesses generally, must be the backbone of our development. It cannot be all about the government, and the more people we can encourage to enter into business, and the more people we can encourage to have their entrepreneurial spirit come to the fore, I think the better it is for us as an island in terms of our growth and our development,” he said.