BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, December 7, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — The role played by the small businesses in the growth of the country’s economy is an important one and it is receiving the Federal Government’s attention. Going forward the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship will give them the support that will enable them to graduate into medium businesses and finally large businesses.
The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives; Small Business and Entrepreneurship; Sports and the Creative Economy, the Hon Samal Duggins, has also said that collaboration between his ministries will be used as a vehicle to help the businesses grow.
This was witnessed on Tuesday evening December 6 when the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) of the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, held the inaugural Small Night Small Business Expo at the Basseterre Public Market under theme ‘Moving Business Forward’.
“Tonight at the Small Business Expo, what we are really seeing here is a wonderful collaboration of all three of my ministries, because here we have agriculture on display, we have small businesses on display, but in the background you can hear entertainment which is a part of our creative economy, and these DJs playing tonight asked to do it as a means of giving their talent to the exposure of our culture and our small businesses development,” said the Hon Duggins.
The Honourable Minister who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs Ermelin Sebastian-Duggins, was joined by Permanent Secretaries Ms Delrine Taylor (Small Business and Entrepreneurship) and Mr Miguel Flemming (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Marine Resources and Cooperatives).
Others were the Director of Entrepreneurship and Small Businesses Development Centre, Mr Phillip Browne, Senior Business Advisor, Mr Delwayne Delaney, Trade & Business Development Coordinator, Mr Irvine Daniel, and Crops Programme Leader in the Department of Agriculture, Mr Ian Chapman.
“So right here we have three different ministries really coming together in the idea of Small Business, Agriculture, and Creative Economy to create what you are now experiencing at the Small Business Expo,” said Minister Duggins. 47 small businesses from St. Kitts and also from Nevis took part in the Night Small Business Expo whose entertainment was provided by DJ Tero and Evolution Sounds.
According to the Honourable Minister, small businesses are the driving sector of the economy, especially of the future. He noted that within the small business spectrum there are a number of different areas, including agricultural based businesses, businesses in the Orange Economy, sports, culture, and entertainment, all who have a large role to play in the growth of the economy.
The Night Small Business, the Honourable Minister said, was the actual bringing of his ministries together under one driving force to move the country’s economy forward, as the survival of the tourism industry and by extension the country’s CBI Programme are currently what is sustaining the economy.
“I believe it is time for us to diversify, and the only way we will do that effectively is to empower small businesses so that they become medium businesses, and eventually large-multinational businesses, but they have to start somewhere, and this is where we are starting,” said Hon Duggins. “We are behind our small businesses 110%.”
In the meantime, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Ms Delrine Taylor, said that based on the buzz the ministry got from the Business Expo that had been held in the Square on Friday November 18, as a part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, a lot of businesses would have reached out to them wanting to be a part of a similar event.
“We therefore felt it was important to give them another opportunity to be a part of such a good activity so that they could showcase what they have to offer,” said Ms Taylor. “I think it is about 40-something clients we have here, and it would have been more but some could not make it because the event probably clashed with something else going on.”
She noted that the businesses are excited “for us to help them in areas like these for marketing purposes, so that we can build the awareness of their products and services to the wider market.”