June 24 St. John's Antigua: Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer, and R. Allen Stanford, CEO of Stanford Group (Antigua), anticipate a big boost for small
business with the activation in a few weeks of the EC$10 Million small entrepreneur empowerment fund.
entrepreneurial programme is a business-stimulating plan to be ushered in with an island-wide sensitizing campaign to begin in the
next few weeks. It is one of several projects to be propelled by the Government/Stanford
Alliance for Development through Education and Empowerment. Through the Antigua and
Barbuda Development Bank, the EC$10 Million empowerment fund will provide low-interest loans of
up to EC$50,000 to start-up micro and small business ventures.
Welcoming the implementation of yet another component of the Alliance for Development through Education
and Empowerment, Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer had this to say:
“The $10 Million Stanford contribution to the empowerment project will initially give a kick-start
to hundreds of new small businesses. As a revolving fund, it will, ultimately, be the catalyst to thousands
of new employment opportunities. I am gratified at this generous commitment by the Stanford Group.”
Prime Minister Spencer outlined that government employees opting for voluntary separation from public
service employment who are desirous of operating their own small business will be fast-tracked through the process.
Apart from providing start-up capital for small business ventures, the fund will offer new entrepreneurs
opportunities for mentoring with seasoned business professionals, particularly in the areas of money management, quality standards,
marketing and customer relations.
As part of the far-reaching Alliance, R. Allen Stanford and the Stanford companies
in Antigua have already provided EC$1 Million to the National Library and are set to contribute EC$25 million for a state-of-the-art
secondary education complex.
Mr. Stanford said, “By combining financial resources
and developing targeted educational options, business opportunities, and in-kind support and mentoring, we can make Antigua
and Barbuda a uniquely productive centre for entrepreneurs.”