- Published: 08 April 2013
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On February 27, 2013, the LCDS Micro and Small Enterprise and Building Alternative Livelihoods for Vulnerable Groups (MSE) project, funded by the Guyana REDD+ Investment Fund (GRIF), received IDB Board approval. The approval includes the release of US$5 million from the GRIF for the first phase of project execution which covers the initial two years. The Government of Guyana has long recognised the importance of micro and small enterprises to the nation as well as the need to assist vulnerable persons and groups.
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Irfaan Ali, stated that “micro and small enterprises are engines for economic and societal development, laying the foundation for innovation and individual improvement. The MSE project provides two important components for entrepreneurial development: access to financing and business training.”
With respect to the Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS) projects being funded by the GRIF, Minister of Finance, Dr. Ashni Singh stated: “I am pleased that the GRIF Projects, including the Amerindian Development Fund, have moved into the implementation phase, while others are in advanced stages of approval. I urge those responsible for executing the projects to do to so in the most expeditious manner, so that the benefits of the LCDS manifest in ways that are tangible and visible to the beneficiary communities, such as Amerindian villages and small businesses, throughout our country.”
The first component of the MSE project will assist with access to financing through a credit guarantee fund, an interest payment support facility and a low carbon grant scheme. The second component will provide business development training through a skills voucher scheme and targeted training at the community level.
The MSE project is funded from earnings for forest climate services achieved by Guyana under its partnership with the Government of Norway. The IDB, with which the Government is partnering, brings significant experience in terms of international best practices with respect to fiduciary, social and environmental considerations. The Executing Agency for the MSE project is the Small Business Bureau (SBB) which falls under the Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce. The SBB was established under the Small Business Act of 2004 with a mandate to coordinate programmes for small business development and promote issues relating to or affecting small businesses.