The Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) programme managed by Invest Turks and Caicos Agency (Invest TCI) has made commendable strides since its launch in 2016.
April 2016 saw the commencement of the Government’s MSME Programme, which Invest TCI manages with support from the Centre for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) and the Ministry of Finance. Governed by the MSME Development Ordinance 2015, the programme makes provision for the Government to provide concession orders to qualifying locally owned businesses operating in identified priority business sectors. The concession orders permit a company or start-up to specific benefits, namely: cash grant, customs duty reduction, and technical assistance depending on the size of the business.
Since its inception, the MSME programme has disbursed well over 2 million dollars in cash grants, technical assistance, and duty concessions to numerous small businesses in various priority areas such as tourism, agriculture, fisheries, and art and music. Over the past five years, Invest TCI has carried out several campaigns encouraging small business owners to fulfill their entrepreneurial ambitions and apply for assistance through the MSME programme. In addition, Invest TCI has partnered with various organizations in a variety of events, most recently, the Department of Youth Affairs to host a business symposium to showcase MSME recipients and expand opportunities for recipients to grow their businesses.
Since the start of the financial year, the MSME programme has approved 25 applications with assistance totaling $432,853 and additional 14 applications in the pipeline.
Anissa Adderley, Acting Vice President-SME Development at Invest TCI stated, “We have many plans in the pipeline for the MSME programme to support and facilitate small businesses in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Our goal is to work more closely with MSMEs, not only to provide financial assistance but to provide long-term support and assistance through training and small business seminars. We want to help MSMEs to grow their business and to become knowledgeable and efficient business owners.”
Commenting on the MSME programme, Interim CEO Angela Musgrove Stated, “In our October Committee Meeting, we are pleased to have signed off on $146,850 in assistance for several small businesses. We encourage locally owned small businesses and start-ups to take advantage of the opportunity and apply for the assistance available to them. Entrepreneurship plays a vital role in economic development and creates new enterprise that energizes the economy. We encourage more entrepreneurs to contact us at Invest TCI to assist in bringing their projects to reality.” Mrs. Musgrove also noted that the small business community can look forward to more information about exciting programme changes in the coming weeks.
Persons interested in applying for assistance are advised to call Invest TCI’s office at 338 4779 to make an appointment or visit the website at www.investturksandcaicos.tc/msme for more information.