Usually, it is the little guy – the small business owner – who gets overlooked, side-stepped, and left behind to fight alone. They are always the underdogs. Today though, the little man in Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Jamaica and St. Lucia have the spotlight.
The Organization of American States (OAS) will be establishing Small Business Development Centres in the mentioned territories as it has already done in Mexico, El Salvador, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Costa Rica, Panama, and in the United States.
OAS general secretary, Jose Miguel Insulza said it was recognized that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region were major contributors to employment, accounting for 70 per cent of jobs, and more than 50 per cent of the gross domestic product.
The aim of the OAS is to help these businesses that contribute so much to the local economies, to increase productivity and profit. To this end, the programme provides small businesses with both social and economic assistance. both socially and economically to the SMEs.
Under the project, SMEs will be able to access expert advice, training and mentoring programmes to give them guidance in growth and competitiveness. It however has a special focus on empowering women who work in the SMEs.
Apparently the US version of the project has been tremendously successful – hopefully the luck will travel here.