ETT hosted a two-day Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) stakeholder workshop this week.
PHILIPSBURG–The Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) will be looking at the development of the Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) model to fill the current void of not having such a structure to stimulate the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector, according to the TEATT Cabinet on Thursday.
As a prelude, the Department of Economy, Transport and Telecommunication (ETT) in collaboration with the COSME programme hosted a two-day Small Business Development Centre (SBDC) stakeholder workshop this week.
The objective of this workshop was to provide an outlook on the role of business development in enhancing entrepreneurship and economic development. To achieve this, it is envisioned that an efficient structure or vehicle needs to be created.
Therefore, on day one of this workshop stakeholders had the opportunity to look fundamentally at the SBDC best-practice model and how it has been utilised in enhancing the quality of the delivery of business development services in the region. During day two, stakeholders had an opportunity to discuss an SBDC model for St. Maarten, thus determining its structure, formation, budget and other requirements for its full operation in St. Maarten.
It is envisioned that at the end of this workshop, the TEATT Ministry as the main stakeholder given its mandate, will take the lead in the development of the Small Business Development Centre.
Additionally, given the establishment of an SBDC model, MSMEs can now expect to be provided with the tools and knowledge to aid their developmental process. This will also facilitate MSMEs to be in a better position to access needed finance to grow their businesses. This initiative of enabling access to finance by MSMEs is work in progress by ETT and should be coming to fruition within the coming months.
Attending this workshop were top executives of the private sector; e.g., Chamber of Commerce, hotel association, Small Business Association, financial institutions that work with micro-financing; senior Government policy advisors of the Economy, Labour and Education Department and University of Sint Martin.