Basseterre St. Kitts July 03: Prime Minister Dr. Denzil
Douglas says launching of the EC$10 million “Empowerment for Ownership” Fund should prove to be a major boost
to the micro, small and medium-size enterprises in the twin-island Federation.
“After all, it is this sector that historically has proven
to be the most dynamic in developing countries and development economies around the world,” said Prime Minister Douglas
during the launching ceremony at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.
Dr. Douglas is of the view that the empowerment
process would entail a greater sense of independence, “An I Can Be Successful
Attitude,” and foster an ownership culture amongst our non-asset owning segment of society.
Prime Minister Douglas, who is also Minister
of Finance and Sustainable Development said that the Empowerment Fund, a joint collaboration between the Government of the
Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, The Stanford Group of Companies and The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis “will
be a catalyst to our entrepreneurial spirit, and would serve as an important part of my Government’s economic and human
resource initiatives, as we seek to empower our people through financial independence.”
He said that the launching of the Empowerment
for Ownership programme represents a historical model of public-private partnership with a very long-term goal of achieving
widespread, sustainable prosperity and a higher standard of living for all of citizens of the Federation of St. Kitts and
Nevis and it must be seen in the wider context of his Government’s continued implementation of it empowerment policy.
“There is no better way of empowering
someone than through ownership – ownership of a piece of our expanding economy,” said Prime Minister Douglas,
who reaffirmed the policy of his St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Government’s “to create wealth through the initiation,
development and expansion of business enterprises, whether micro, small or medium-seize enterprises.”
Dr. Douglas said that the provision of
the EC$10 million in the Fund “marks the re-entry of the Stanford Financial Group to the ever expanding economic development
machine that is currently driving the growth and development in St. Kitts and Nevis and is responsible for the creation of
the new economy that is based on services as we transit out of sugar production.”
He said while the recent closure of the
Sugar Industry has created significant challenges, it has at the same time present opportunities for the advancement of the
people, through much more productive endeavours.
“As our economy goes through an accelerated
period of transition, this programme provides an ideal means by which our people can become empowered through their own creativity
and through their own hard labour,” said Prime Minister Douglas.
The Fund is being facilitated by the Development
Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis, which continues to play a critical role in implementing the empowerment policy of the governing
St. Kitts-Nevis Labour Party Administration.