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Thirty-nine (39) young Saint Lucians at the moment are further empowered to propel their business because of the Youth Economy Agency (YEA).
During a temporary ceremony on Wednesday twenty fourth May, 2023 the Agency disbursed funds for 39 new grant recipients at its offices on Chaussee Road in Castries.
A complete of $66,558.02 was handed over to the young entrepreneurs, who were addressed by YEA Chairperson, Mr. Thomas Leonce, and Business Development Officer, Mrs. Ginel Mondesir, in addition to hearing from a few of their fellow recipients.
In keeping with Mr. Leonce, Wednesday’s ceremony was noteworthy not only since it represented the most important disbursement so far, but additionally since it showcased several different business categories, in addition to entrepreneurs from across the island’s length and breadth.
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“I feel we took quite a leap today,’ he said. “We began off a bit slow, I feel we’re running a 400m race, you understand. So, we’ve had two batches of disbursements to date, the primary one 11 disbursements, the second also 11. But today we did 39. That makes me very completely happy, it suggests we’re progressing and moving at a faster pace than before. But what I used to be also completely happy about was the range of companies that were supported. There have been businesses involved in cosmetology, beauticians, spas, maritime services, quite a spread, marketing, shipping, fitness, elderly care, event planning, food and beverage, restaurants and bars, and what have you ever. So that’s what really excited me. And what gave me pleasure as well, they got here from across the island, from so far as Soufriere, a number of from Dennery, so the geographical spread is sweet., It means we’re touching various areas concurrently, and various industries concurrently.”
Mr. Jurgen Montoute, the proprietor of Horizon Waves Water Sports and Charters, insists that the YEA grant shall be very impactful for his business.
He shall be using the cash to buy more equipment, to rent additional operators, and to offer training and certification for his team. The Gros Islet native says the existence of the Youth Economy Agency has increased his level of confidence within the business climate.
“I’d definitely say that it has. Every time you ask entrepreneurs in Saint Lucia what’s certainly one of the important challenges they’re facing, all of them will let you know access to finance. Whether that be a small business or a big business, everybody says access to financing is certainly one of their biggest challenges. And I’d say the youth economy directly addresses that gap. So, you understand, I’m definitely confident, and I would love to see the initiative to proceed and to grow as well.”
Miss Cassie Emmanuel, founder and manager of AdRight Media, a digital marketing brand that caters to small businesses, shall be expanding her business by acquiring a new workstation, camera, recording and storage devices.
She says that the extension of funding from the agency, which has only been in operation since March, is a testament to how valued the recipients are.
“This grant shouldn’t be just an investment made towards your corporation, however it is an investment made towards our future and self-sustainability. The YEA makes us young entrepreneurs hopeful, so we all know that we are able to get the support we’d like through mentorship, the training that we require through the abilities and training programmes, and we now have a dependable body that believes in us, that may support, encourage, and contribute to us being self-employed.”
YEA has now provided grants to 61 young Saint Lucians, along with furnishing training for 100 emerging business owners.
Several of the agency’s recipients have been amongst those undergoing training over the past three weeks with the support of the Taiwan Technical Mission.
YEA has also opened a call for mentorship, with potential mentors capable of join via youtheconomy.lc, and in coming weeks, young entrepreneurs across the island can have the chance to interact with each other, and with more experienced businesspersons, in a series of business mixers.
SOURCE: Youth Economy Agency
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