Press Release
8 July 2015 - 9:15am

The Government of the Virgin Islands, through the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department  is conducting training in the application process for the Caribbean Overseas Small and Medium Enterprises (COSME) Direct Assistance Grant Scheme.

The training programme is being implemented as Government continues with efforts to strengthen and develop small and medium enterprises in the Territory. The one day training session is being held on Wednesday, July 8, at the HLSCC Marine Center, Room MA1 from 9:30 a.m. to noon.

Deputy Secretary in the Premier’s Office, Mrs. Elvia Smith- Maduro stated, “The Assistance Grant Scheme is part of the 41 month COSME programme which will disperse an overall €15 Million Euros to projects/initiatives benefitting participating Caribbean Territories.”

She said, “The global object of this initiative is to provide direct assistance grants and identify actions to strengthen the operations of selected Business Support Organisations and Small and Medium Enterprises in the 12 Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).”

Mrs. Maduro said that the initiative will help the OCTs to become more diversified in their product offerings, be more sustainable in relation to global economic changes, and mitigate changes or challenges faced as a result of climate change which may affect their businesses through natural or man-made disasters.

In addition, the initiative will contribute to the overall economic prosperity of the OCTs so that Small and Medium-sized Enterprises will become more competitive in the global market.

Mrs. Smith-Maduro added that the total amount for the Assistance Grant Scheme under this project is €500,000.00 euros. This she said will be disbursed via two ‘Grant Calls for Proposal’.  The first is this current call which will make available €200,000.00, and the second will be a call for proposal for the remaining €300,000.00.

Businesses from the participating countries and Territories of Anguilla, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Montserrat, St. Maarten, St. Eustatius, Saba, St. Barths, and Turks and Caicos will have an opportunity to apply for the funds being made available by the European Union through these two calls for proposals.

Director of the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department, Mrs. Karia Christopher said the purpose of the working session is to outline the application process of the grant scheme with all potential beneficiaries, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) and Business Support Organisations.

The Director added that the guidelines, application form and other annexes will be presented during the training session.  In addition, the attendees will have an opportunity to seek clarification on any aspect of the process as they prepare to complete grant applications.

The deadline for submission of full applications for the Direct Grant Assistance Scheme is Thursday, August 6, at 4.30 p.m. For more information on the COSME programme, visit cosmeprogramme.org.

The Department of Trade and Consumer Affairs and the Premier’s Office are the lead agencies for the development of small businesses in the Territory and fully support all initiatives for the growth and sustainability of small businesses.

For more information on the training, contact the Trade and Consumer Affairs Department at telephone number 468-2008 or e-mail bvitrade@gov.vg.

As the Territory continues to secure its future, more on the work of the Government of the Virgin Islands can be found on www.bvi.gov.vg; Facebook, YouTube or Twitter at BVIGovernment

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. The COSME Programme was launched on April 1, 2014 on Tortola with an overall objective to contribute to the sustainable and climate resilient economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories by improving the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises in the participating Territories
  2. One of the programme objectives was the design of Direct Assistance Grant Scheme with accompanying implementation guidelines, which were completed in May 2015. On March 31, a presentation was made to small businesses and stakeholders at the HLSCC Marine Centre.

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