Permanent secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development, Esther Thomas has expressed that through a recent series of trainings the ministry will more effectively ensure funds being granted to entrepreneurs are being spent wisely.
The Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development has closed the curtains on a series of small business training sessions.
The sessions, which were geared at building capacity and preparing entrepreneurs for effectively managing their business, were also a prerequisite to ensure that the funds granted to the entrepreneurs will be used for the purposes intended.
Addressing the closing ceremony of the final session in St. Joseph last Thursday, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce, Enterprise and Small Business Development, Esther Thomas says she believes these trainings will increase the likelihood of successful businesses as well as assist the ministry in improving the process of disbursement of grant funds.
“The training is the key element of you receiving those funds and I am very pleased that he [the facilitator] guided you in that proper way so that at least even those of you who may have had an idea and you are not sure what you wanted to do and maybe now that you have received the training you are clearer, like the young gentleman who just testified. He is clearer now what he has to do, so you see the relevance of the training. We want to ensure when the funds are given after five years when we come back we can see you are at step two of your ladder.”
Recently, Government implemented a new policy to decentralize assistance to small businesses by using the local authority.
Thomas says however, the ministry will continue to conduct follow-ups with the recipients and expects the local government institutions to enforce accountability.
“This distribution through the local authority does not exempt the ministry of commerce, we still have a role to play in ensuring these funds are properly utilized and so that is why we do the training; and not only the training, we will continue to monitor you.”
“When we provide the resources to them they have a responsibility to provide us with the necessary reports that we will follow up and ensure that the persons who have received the funds are indeed utilizing the fund for what they say they will do.”
The Permanent Secretary encouraged the entrepreneurs to see themselves as partners with the ministry.
“As a ministry, not only do we act as a driver pushing the economic business development but we also act as an enabler and a facilitator so that we can strengthen, promote and develop your business idea, your new business, your existing business into a fantastic business.”
The series of trainings, which were held in various constituencies across the island, began in April and ended last week with the 12th and final training in the St. Joseph constituency.