Information Officer II
Ministry of Education and Culture
Phone: 468-3107 Ext 3353
The Caribbean Overseas Small Medium Enterprises (COSME) programme has provided tangible benefits for over 1,000 entrepreneurs.
Programme Manager Mrs. Elvia Smith-Maduro, at a recent COSME Steering Committee and Stakeholder forum in Turks and Caicos Islands, stated that the entrepreneurs are from all participating Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs), including the Virgin Islands.
She said the programme was able to adjust to changes and many other challenges and has survived. She added that it has also blossomed, giving in one way or the other significance to COSME on each OCT.
Mrs. Smith-Maduro attended the steering committee meeting earlier this month as the official Representative of Deputy Regional Authorising Officer, Mr. Neil Smith, and the BVI government. She said the research reports submitted at the session are proof that the programme is accomplishing its objectives.
Consultants presented findings from a number of detailed reports at the two-day forum. According to the research reports, over 1,000 entrepreneurs under the COSME programme have attended and benefitted from various workshops and/or activities to strengthen their businesses.
COSME’s objectives include strengthening the capacity of the Governments of the Caribbean OCTs to service the business sector; improving the capacity of Business Service Organisations to engage in public/private policy and administrative reform dialogue with Governments and providing services to their constituency of SMEs; and promoting stronger collaboration, trade and investment relations among the EU, CARIFORUM and the Caribbean OCTs.
The next COSME event in the BVI will be held in the form of a workshop on March 9, to assist young entrepreneurs with acquiring basic accounting skills to improve their businesses.
The session’s facilitator is Mr. Rajiv Balleram of Pannell Kerr Forster (PKF) BVI Limited and will be held at the Training Division in the Betteto Frett Building from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Interested youth entrepreneurs are encouraged to register and support the Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop Series by contacting the Department of Youth Affairs and Sports via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 468-4949.
The BVI will also benefit from training in Eindhoven, Netherlands in March. Junior Minister for Trade and Investment Promotion Honourable Marlon Penn will lead a delegation including representation from the Department of Trade, Investment Promotion and Consumer Affairs and MWM Financial Consultants. The delegation will learn how to set up business incubators for small start-up businesses.
The OCTs participating in the COSME programme are Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Barthelemy, Sint Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos and the Virgin Islands.
The implementation of the COSME programme will continue for the next 18 months in approved OCT regions.
Photo Caption: Group photo of attendees of the COSME Steering Committee and Stakeholder forum. (Photo credit: COSME)
The COSME programme, launched in the BVI in 2014, is a 54-month programme with the responsibility to disperse 15M Euros to projects benefitting participating Caribbean Territories. The funds were made available by the European Union (EU). The programme’s overall objective is to contribute to the sustainable and climate-resilient economic diversification and prosperity of Caribbean OCTs by improving the competitiveness of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the participating territories.
The Programme’s main office is in Tortola BVI, with a satellite office in Curaçao. The government of the BVI (the Financial Secretary in particular) carries the responsibility for the programme. The regional coordinating team is comprised of BVI Deputy Regional Authorizing Officer/Territorial Authorizing Officer, Mr. Neil Smith, along with Senior BVI Government Staff and their deputies seconded to the COSME Programme. In addition to BVI staff the Programme’s Management Unit (PMU) consists of a team of Caribbean key experts retained by German GOPA. The Curaçao government provides office facilities for COSME’s satellite office.