February 26, 2008
Minister of Social Transformation, Trade and Industry in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) the Hon. Hensley Daniel, said entrepreneurship was one critical ingredient that could transform the society and the development of Nevis.
Minister Daniel made the statement on Monday February 25, 2008 during a feature address to signal the start of a week long celebration of Nevis‘ first ever Small Business Week.
Mr. Daniel who also holds portfolios for Social and Gender Affairs, made reference to a report on small enterprise development in the region and said that it was critical to the development of women, single mothers, children and young people. He said support for female business owners, single mothers and poor women who worked to help maintain their families had been found to be one markedly beneficial result of micro credit programme.
These credit programmes he said could benefit and bolster these small enterprises which could yield benefits across a broad range of economies and help them to become more abundant, productive and resilient.
Mr. Daniel said that it was in that context that the Ministry of Trade and Industry had joined the Small Enterprise Development Unit becasue small businesses helped to break the cycle of dependency.
“I would hope that the people in small business recognise every week is business week. We ought to have a small business week every week because if there is a week when there is no business then there is going to be no money. So unlike the people in the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) they can have a Small Business Week once a year but for you in small business, you must be in business every day, every week, every month and every year.
“You make sure you have your consistency in business and do not only wait for the small business people to give you the fillip for small business. I also want to say to you that small businesses provide for our people the opportunity to do the best for themselves and breaks the cycle of dependence and breaks the cycle of under-dependence,” he said.
The Minister said that this was part of the transformation which the Nevis Reformation Party led-Administration was seeking to achieve on Nevis, as it strived to make steady progress towards securing a better future that fostered peace, freedom and stability.
A former Director of Youth, Mr. Daniel was happy to announce that the Youth Enterprise Scheme (YES) which should have been adopted by Nevis since 1995 would now be launched on Wednesday February 27, 2008.
“Since as far back as 1995, all the Directors of Youth met in Barbados myself included in 1995 and we had a problem with creating opportunities for employment for young people. Most of the countries in CARICOM [Caribbean Community] proceeded to develop the Youth Enterprise Scheme to address the problem of employment among young people this scheme was written by me and my colleagues in the Department of Community Affairs.
“I think it ought to be expected that as the Minister of Youth and as the Minister of Trade and Industry, I am supposed to make sure that this happens and so it will on Wednesday morning of this week the SEDU, the YES has been established in most of the CARICOM with three main components; training in business management, attachments and internships with businesses,” he said
Business Development Officer at SEDU and Chairperson of the Small Business Week Committee Mr. Patrice Wilkin, welcomed guests at the historic event. He said the NIA had seen the celebration as another vital opportunity to move closer to the realisation of its dream of pro economic growth.
Mr. Wilkin focused on the theme under which the week of activities was been held spoke to the role that small businesses played in the development of the island.
“Nevisians have a strong tradition of entrepreneurship. The village shop, the producer of local jams or jellies, the vegetable farmer, the carpenter, the local baker are fine examples of that tradition. This rich tradition must be sustained through innovation, creativity and co-operation.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and we salute small business owners, entrepreneurs and employees for enhancing our communities and expanding opportunities for all. The hard work and ingenuity of our Nation’s small business men and women is helping to sustain Nevis’s economic strength,” he said.
He called upon all Nevisians to observe the week through participating in the activities and programmes that would celebrate the accomplishments of small business owners and their employees and encouraged the development of new small businesses.
Small business week was conceptualised to recognise small business owners from across the island and to sensitise the public about the significant role that these businesses played in Nevis’ socioeconomic development. The week is also expected to create awareness and interest in entrepreneurship as a career option amongst young people and to honor persons for their role in ensuring that Nevis remained the best place in the world to do business.