A year after opening its doors to finance micro, small and medium-sized enterprises across the island, the Trust Loan Fund is seeking to broaden its mandate, Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, Dwight Sutherland said.
During a church service at the St Luke’s Anglican Church to mark the milestone, he hailed the first year a success. According to Sutherland, the fund’s nine employees made good use of the $10 million allocated by Government, dispersing approximately 2,700 loans, each totalling up to $5,000.
“The Trust Loan Fund has done a tremendous job for its first year of operation and in this element of building our communities, we will be focusing on something called clusters whereby we take those businesses, we hold their hands and ensure they are sustainable. We will form partnerships with them and bring in those persons who have been successful… to become mentors,” he said.
Among those in the congregation were the Prime Minister’s Chief Economic Counsellor and Chairman of the Barbados Trust Loan Fund, Dr Clyde Mascoll as well as the fund’s General Manager, Jerry Moss.
Meanwhile, Minister Sutherland announced a Memorandum of Understanding between the St Luke’s Anglican Church and the Trust Loan Fund as the organisation seeks to expand its mandate by empowering citizens socially.
He explained the fund would be adopting new approaches to realise the goal of creating wealth by empowering small business people.
“Whereas we may see the money as purely economic, it has a social element to it…we decided we must focus on the social side as it relates to the micro, small and medium sized enterprises. What can I do for families, what can I do for schools, what I can do for churches, what can I do to stem the violence in this country?” he asked.
“Indeed, these partnerships with the Anglican Church and the other churches can address some of the challenges that we face as a Government,” said Sutherland. (KS)