Even though small and medium enteprises can bring about a lot of national benefits, they face many difficulties
May 09, 2017
Partners and representatives from sectors and organisations affiliated with the Small Business Enterprise met with the public and the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning and the Ministry of Employment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation in a Consultative meeting on Thursday 4th May.
The Consultative meeting will be on the Start-Up Grant-Scheme which will provide seed capital of up to SCR 50,000 to fund small start-up businesses to assist them in their early stages of development.
The aim of the consultative meeting is to gather as much information and contribution as possible on the scheme from all concerned parties and encourage the idea of collaboration and networking in the eventual launching and implementation of the scheme.
In his budget address, Minister for Finance, Trade and Economic Planning, Dr. Peter Larose, said that the government is committed to give priority attention to the small and medium enterprise sector to ensure that it thrives and contributes towards the poverty reduction agenda of the country.
According to Dr. Larose, there is a series of measures to help SMEs exploit their full potentials and penetrate a new business frontier, and one of them is the start-up capital or seed money to be backed by Government guarantees.
And to kick start the consultative meeting, Dr Peter Larose spoke of the importance of the small and medium enterprise in the country because Seychelles has a small economy which is open. He said that the small and medium businesses can bring a lot of benefits for the country and has a direct impact on the socio-economic development. Thus creating new investments, employment opportunities, more economic activities, contributes towards the fiscal system, competiton and more development for the country. "Even though the small and medium enteprise can bring about a lot of national benefits, I have to recognise also that they face many difficulties and setbacks, such as access to capital, interests and bank services, excessive financial securities for their loans, insurance, telecommunications and electricity amongst others", says Minister Larose.
Those were exactly some of the issues pointed out by members of the public, who attended the consultative meeting at the International Conference Centre. A lot of queries and recommendations on how best to improve the scheme was brought forth. Whilst many present agreed and recognised that the scheme is a good initiative for small and medium business some also stated that the production cost for such businesses are often too high and the main reason why most fails. There was also proposal for a grace period and much emphasis on ongoing sensitisation on the scheme as well as issues of ease of doing business in Seychelles.
In her presentation, the P.S responsible for the Department of Entrepreneurship Development & Business Innovation, Mrs. Pamela Charlette provided details of the scheme.
As a means to further enhance the development of more competitive and resilient businesses the Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning has allocated a sum of SCR 5 millionfor the Start-Up Grant-Scheme for the next 5 years beginning in 2017.
The grant aims to provide seed capital of up to SCR 50,000 to fund small start-up businesses to assist them in their early stages of inception. A sum of SCR 5, 000,000 will be allocated for each year to assist a maximum of 100 applicants per year.
In his concluding remarks, the Minister for Employment, Entrepreneurship Development and Business Innovation, Wallace Cosgrow, spoke of the importance of having an innovative business as well as for SMEs to have a sense of commitment. Minister Cosgrow reiterated the fact that the proposed seed capital is an assistance being provided by the government to small and medium businesses, it is an incentive designed to assist start up initiatives.
Two similar consultative meetings are scheduled for Praslin and La Digue respectively in the following weeks.