First application of Micro financing in the Caribbean Netherlands successfully launched in Bonaire

Kralendijk - On Tuesday, February 14, 2012 the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce (CoC) micro finance project in cooperation with the local banks MCB Bonaire, GIRO bank and RBTT and supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation (EL&I) was successfully launched

In all 25 persons are participating in the first starters’ action plan of the Chamber of Commerce.

The participants are: Dainna Elaine Bernabela, Maria Enrique Bazon and spouse, Shunaiska Martis and sibling, E.A. Peternella, Germaine Felicia, Ljugene Carolina and partner, Ruthalia Nicasia, Bart Fielmich, Leonardo Munoz, Liliana Jaramillo, Jorge Albacarrin, Paul Shantoosh Sewthalsing and spouse, Giovanna Mercedes Sanchez, Morayma Paulina, Ridley Regelas, Marten Romeijn, Remco(Lex) Ruiter, Tito Reyes, Reyito Reyes and Germain Osepa.

These prospective entrepreneurs are prepared for entrepreneurship during the starters’ action plan through 7 intensive workshops within the time frame of 2 months. On Tuesday, February 14, the first training in entrepreneurial skills started. The next workshops will be about Taxes and legislation, Administration, Custom, price calculation and quotations, Marketing and preparing a business plan.

The micro finance project entails that entrepreneurs are guided by the Chamber of Commerce before they apply for a business loan (micro finance) at the bank. Participating banks can register this business loan with the Dutch National Government under the guarantee scheme for SME’s (SME scheme). In that case the government guarantees a portion of the loan. This should ensure that the banks will issue more loans easier, since the risk will be shared with the State. The Chamber of Commerce is convinced that a starting entrepreneur does not benefit only from a business loan, but that training and coaching are essential to succeed. Therefore, the micro finance project consist for a major part of training and coaching, provided by one of the CoC consultants and with cooperation of professionals from the business community.

This is the first starters’ process of the three that will be organized in Bonaire. The other two starters’ processes will start in June and October 2012. The Saba-Statia Chamber of Commerce, also with the support of the Ministry of EL&I, is working on a similar project for the entrepreneurs of Saba and St. Eustatius.

17 February 2012

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