Caribbean firms access €2.5-m grant funding
NINETY- TWO Caribbean firms and business support organisations (BSOs) have got €2.5 million ($300 million) in EU grant funding over the last four months.
Grants have been awarded to export businesses across a multitude of sectors, with most going to manufacturers.
The funding will be used to modernise equipment, upgrade facilities to international food and quality standards, enhance products and packaging, implement alternative energy systems, train staff, develop collateral materials, market and promote products and services, according to Caribbean Export.
The regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation opened the latest round of funding in June when it asked businesses to submit proposals.
Just over 71 per cent of the bids submitted got a passing grade, which reflects training received from Caribbean Export's proposal-writing workshops.
“The Direct Assistance Grant Scheme is continuously one of the most effective mechanisms for enabling companies in the 15 CARIFORUM member states to improve their competitiveness and achieve more effective penetration of the export market” said Pamela Coke Hamilton, executive director of Caribbean Export.
The programme awarded 50 grants over the eight months preceding the most recent call for bids.
“The exportation of products and services from the Caribbean is crucial for economic success and social development of the region, and Caribbean businesses must be able to compete on the international stage,” said Caribbean Export.
The grant programme has “provided a platform that supports Caribbean business to become more innovative and compete internationally and thus supporting the mantra of taking Caribbean excellence to the world”.