Businesses learn how to get funds for development

This week the Caribbean Export Development Agency (CEDA) in conjunction with Belize’s Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is conducting a pair of workshops designed to ramp up opportunities in Belizean exports. Today, the businesses were learning how to write the best proposals to get funds to develop their businesses. CEDA’s Senior Grant Advisor Kirk Brown tells PLUS News what the scheme is about.

Kirk Brown – CEDA’s Senior Grant Adviser:
vlcsnap-2013-04-10-20h24m01s36We’re talking about Grant Funding, which is funded by the European Union, under the 10th European Development Fund, which we have been instituting a program for the next five years, up until  2015.  This program is specifically geared to firms within the CARIFORUM, especially Belizean firms of individuals, who are looking to export goods and services.  These grants can be used to improve the competitiveness of their business, from training of staff, developing promotional material, developing websites, upgrading equipment, you name it.  Pretty much it’s specific to each company’s need.  The firms can apply and get up to a maximum of 30 thousand Euro for the large grant, and a maximum of 5 thousand for the small grant.

In Belize dollars that ranges from $13,000 to $79,000 – no small potatoes. Grants like these are open to businesses prepared and driven to export to the world – whether Central America, CARICOM, or elsewhere. Brown describes the types of businesses that can most take advantage.

Kirk Brown – CEDA’s Senior Grant Adviser:
Basically all sectors, if you’re a management consultant, marketing, graphic designer, fashion designer, architect, engineers,  accountants, manufacturers, musicians, persons who in the recording business who have studios, and the list goes on.  We pretty much cover all the sectors.  Even though we have some priority sectors, focusing on tourism, the creative industries, ago-processing, professional services, and others. the truth is we’re trying to make sure we cover the sectors that drive most of the business within CARICOM.

Calls for grant proposals are announced twice per year and the first for 2013 is pending. The workshop is part of Caribbean Export’s overall objective to enhance the competitiveness among CARIFORUM’s private sector.

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