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The Ministry of Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs joins the international community in celebrating Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) Day on June 27th, 2023. Today, the United Nations seeks to raise public awareness of their invaluable contributions to sustainable development. As the backbone of the local economy, MSMEs play a significant role in spurring innovation, effectuating public policy and creating much-needed employment opportunities. Their impact cannot be overstated: worldwide, MSMEs account for 90% of businesses, 60 to 70% of employment and 50% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Global crises and economic adversity pose significant threats to the free flow of the work environment. This instability renders MSMEs especially vulnerable to inflation and supply chain disruptions—women- and youth-owned enterprises are among the most vulnerable. On this MSME Day, the United Nations has advocated for policies that strengthen entrepreneurship for women and youth and support resilient supply chains to ensure workers and the environment benefit. The United Nations’ focus on “Galvanizing MSMEs worldwide by supporting women and youth entrepreneurship and resilient supply chains” closely aligns with the Ministry of Commerce’s current focus on youth development through apprenticeship and entrepreneurship, more specifically the Small Business Development Centre’s Youth Entrepreneurship in Action (SBDC YEA!) Program. To ensure access to funding for vulnerable groups, the Government of Saint Lucia has gone a step further in its support of MSMEs by introducing the MSME Loan-Grant Facility which offers 70% grant- and 30% loan-funding at an attractive 3% interest rate with minimum collateral requirements. This provides MSMEs with the tools, resources and support required to build capacity and resiliency—enough to thrive in a dynamic and challenging business landscape.

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Quinn St. Juste

Quinn St. Juste is a young journalist, with a background in Tourism Management. He has a passion for social and commerce related topics.

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