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Small business in Antigua gets a boost

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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.
The 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.”

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