Small and medium sized businesses in Barbados will now be able to significantly reduce their operating cost and create more jobs.
President of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alberto Moreno said this afternoon that a $300,000 grant provided by its Multilateral Investment Fund, would do just that.
Speaking during a brief signing ceremony at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre as part of FOROMIC, the forum on micro- enterprise financing, he said the money would be channeled through the Future Centre Trust.
Chairman of the Board of the Trust Vivian-Anne Gittens said the grant would finance a consultant to the businesses as well as go towards out of pocket money for projects related to the strengthening of the Green Business Barbados standards initiative, a programme that seeks to be affordable, practical and able to deliver economic returns to Barbadian and medium sized enterprises.
The Green Business Barbados programme would help 20 local SMEs achieve Green Business Certification, which would improve their competitiveness and save operating costs by allowing them to cut waste and make more efficient use of energy and water.
Gittens pointed out that small and medium enterprises involved in recycling programmes would benefit as well.
She noted that a special consultant from the IDB would implement the Green Business project and the Future Centre Trust would do the certification.
The initiative would provide companies with the opportunity to position and market themselves as green businesses and increasing their brand value.
The MIF’s assistance would also help the Trust to create ways for micro and SMEs to fund their transition into the green business sector.
It would not only contribute to a reduction of the country’s carbon foot print, but also create new avenues for businesses which offer products and services related to renewable energy, energy efficient technologies and recycling.
The Agreement was signed by Moreno and Gittens.
The MIF is designed to support private sector led development benefitting the poor and low-income households – their businesses and their farms. (EJ)