Initiatives St. Martin unveils its mobile consultation van

MARIGOT–Initiatives St. Martin Active presented a new tool in its inventory to help potential entrepreneurs start a business, a mobile van that will tour the districts to explain its services and offer consultations, at a press conference in the offices of district council six in Sandy Ground on Monday.

The van is part of the project “My Quarter, My Business” an initiative to get closer to the population started in 2016. This year a new partner and co- financier is CitésLab.

Préfète Déléguée Anne Laubies representing the State was present along with President of Initiatives St. Martin Jean-Paul Fischer, Director of Initiatives St. Martin Marc Chakhtoura, President of the Collectivité Daniel Gibbs, Employment Office Director Jessie Thenaud-Daubahadour and a representative from Caisse des Dépôts, Jennifer Martin.

The approximately 30,000 euro cost of the Renault Master van was co-financed by Initiatives St. Martin, Chamber of Commerce (CCISM), Employment Office (Pôle Emploi), Caisse des Dépôts, the State and the Collectivité. A further 30,000 euros was spent on outfitting the van for a meeting room environment with air conditioning. A half dozen persons can sit around a table.

Mathieu Nicoise who is in charge of the project explained a schedule has already been drawn up for the van to visit the districts twice a week starting Monday, July 31, 2017,

“The purpose of this van is to go to the people because there are people who don’t know about Initiatives St. Martin or what we do, which is to help someone start a business or project, help finance it and follow up the progress once it has been launched,” Nicoise explained.

Every Monday he will be visiting French Quarter, Grand Case, Marigot, Sandy Ground, St. James and Concordia. The van has a distinctive design on the exterior. A competition was organised to find the best design with a prize of an iPad offered to the eventual winner, Diélando Fiacre.

In 2015, Initiatives St. Martin organised eight conferences and participated in the organisation of six workshops. In total 115 persons were received, 60 of whom were from the priority districts of Sandy Ground and French Quarter. Whether young or old, employed or not, all asked questions about creating or developing a business, or were interested in aid available or training courses.

From the 115, 10 were employed, 56 were looking for a job (31 looking for more than a year), 10 were receiving the Revenu Solidarité Active (RSA), 17 were in the process of starting a business and 10 were in training; 21 gave up their projects for various reasons.

Source: The Daily Herald