PHILIPSBURG/THE HAGUE–The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary in The Hague, in its effort to afford young professionals the opportunity to gain hands-on experience prior to entering the workforce, has welcomed Deedee Johnson to the Cabinet.
A legal scholar, Johnson will be working at the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary until the end of August, where she will conduct research into the grant systems of the Netherlands and the European Union (EU) in the areas of creative industries and assistance to small and medium enterprises (SME).
The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary has chosen these specific sectors because they are often key in expanding and diversifying a country’s economic base.
When considering the growth of these two sectors on a global platform, it was deemed worthwhile to research possibilities for financing projects in St. Maarten geared towards strengthening SMEs, specifically those in the creative industries, the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary pointed out.
“By doing so, we will be able to contribute to the further development of SMEs on the island. The outcome of this process will ultimately result in these businesses reaching even higher competitive standards, becoming better prepared to market their products and services on the international market, and increase their overall resilience,” the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary explained.
In an invited comment, Johnson elaborated on her enthusiasm on being given the opportunity to research and present her findings. St. Maarten is currently recovering from the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Irma and it has resulted in huge financial constraints on our road to recovery, she said.
“Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we understand various ways in which we can rebuild stronger, both structurally and financially, in order to become sustainable in our fragile environment.
“During my internship at the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of St. Maarten in The Hague, I will be conducting detailed research on the various European Union and Dutch grants, vouchers and funding that are available for small and medium enterprises and the creative industry on St. Maarten,” she said.
With this report Johnson hopes to provide a step-by-step, comprehensive overview that will allow entrepreneurs and professionals to have a clear and concise understanding of the opportunities available to them through the EU and the Netherlands. She expects this to encourage financial growth and innovation as St. Maarten continues to rebuild as a nation.
The report will be published for the public through various platforms, such as social media, the website of the Minister Plenipotentiary, the Department of Communications DComm, and via other institutions in St. Maarten.
“I would like to advise the residents of St. Maarten to stay informed on the activities we are carrying out here in the Netherlands on behalf of St. Maarten, and to join us in creating a positive and greater presence in the international community as a strong, resilient and innovative young country,” the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary said in a statement on Wednesday.
After completing this task, Johnson will be taking a one-year sabbatical from her studies and will be returning to St. Maarten, where she will render her services to government in this critical recovery stage of the country.