Press Release

Department of Trade, Investment, Promotion and Consumer Affairs
Release Date:
Thursday, 18 August 2016 - 5:15pm

Small businesses in the Territory are receiving more training support to assist in the enhancement of their skills to deliver quality services.

As part of its capacity building efforts through the COSME Programme, the Government of the Virgin Islands is inviting business support organisations (BSOs) to participate in a free training workshop on Standards and Conformity Assessment for Market Access and Competitiveness. The workshop is targeting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and will be held on September 8 to 9.

Business support organisations are agencies that offer network, coaching and other business support services that can range from, but are not limited to, financial advising, planning and management, business plan writing, branding, marketing and accounting services.

Junior Minister for Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, Honourable Marlon A. Penn is encouraging BSOs to take advantage of the learning opportunity so that they can provide improved business support services for entrepreneurial growth in the Territory.

Honourable Penn said, “It is important that our BSOs have a sound understanding of the types of quality management tools that entrepreneurs need to be successful in business, and they may be able to guide our small businesses on how to strengthen the delivery of their goods and services, increase their market share and enhance their competitiveness.”

The capacity building sessions are designed to further develop the ability of BSOs to assist entrepreneurs in developing their potential to meet the requirements of a standard, in order to improve their competitiveness and access to markets.

At the end of the two-day workshop, participants should be able to explain the general need for standards and conformity assessment and the benefits of standards to SMEs; identify the links between the use of standards and conformity assessment and a quality system; direct clients in the use of standards and know how to access more information on standards and conformity assessment.

The training is being coordinated by the Government in collaboration with the COSME Programme, the Department of the Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs, the H Lavity Stoutt Community College and the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association (BVICCHA).

Registration is free and the deadline for registering is Wednesday, August 31. Interested persons may register at the BVI Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association by emailing or by telephone at 494-3514. The sessions will be at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day.

The COSME programme specialises in the development of the small and medium enterprises in the 12 Overseas Countries and Territories, and was launched on April 1, 2014 on Tortola. The overall objective of the programme is 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.