For entrepreneurs and business owners within the Caribbean, it is a fact that size, population and the limited resource-base of our island homes, present a challenge to our business operations and success. Examined even closer, it becomes apparent that even within a given country certain towns, villages and areas face additional challenges and are therefore even more disadvantaged; be it as a result of demographic, location, terrain or other factors. Understandably businesses and entrepreneurs within these areas may require more assistance to ensure success.
Established in the Revised Treaty of Chaguramas to provide financial and technical assistance to Disadvantaged Countries, Regions and Sectors within the CARICOM, last month representatives from the CARICOM Development Fund (CDF) conducted a scoping mission in St Lucia.
From September 12-16, CDF Senior Economist, Dr Lavern McFarlene and Program Officer Mr Keron Barker; in collaboration with the Saint Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency, TEPA; conducted a series of meetings with community leaders, agencies and entrepreneurs in disadvantaged areas on island. The areas visited were Vieux Fort, Laborie, Choiseul, Micoud, Canaries and Dennery. These disadvantaged areas were identified through CDF’s preliminary investigations which included a review of the latest Saint Lucia Poverty Assessment Report, and were spearheaded by Mr Embert St Juste, Director of Research and Policy in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs, Planning and Social Security.
According to CDF, the scoping mission in St Lucia formed an integral part of the CDF’s investigative work to gather relevant data from disadvantaged regions within CARICOM Members states. This information will in turn be utilized to develop projects and programmes to help these depressed regions become better integrated into national economic and social development activities; thereby strengthening their contributions to the CARICOM Single Market and Economy, CDF says.