The three winners of the Entrepreneur Elite (Business Plan) Competition that marked the end of the second cohort of the Women’s Empowerment Project–SVG, were recognized at the prize-giving ceremony at the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) on 3 November.
The three – Ranique John – My Crown of Curls; Samantha Robinson – Samantha Paperwork Designs; and Avanell DaSilva – Ambrosia Foods, emerged winners of the competition after ten (10) finalists pitched before seven judges on 23 September, vying for the chance to be among the three to win the grand prizes.
Each winner received $26,000 and an award.
Congratulating the winners, Ambassador Peter Sha Li Lan of the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), said that his government launched the Women’s Empowerment Project–SVG, at a critical time when the country’s business community was deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the volcanic eruptions and more recently the Ukraine and Russia conflict. He said they are also happy to help the women in SVG rejuvenate themselves and their businesses through the project.
Also addressing the prize-giving ceremony was Minister of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Regional Integration and the Diaspora, the Hon. Keisal Peters, who lauded opportunities like the WEP–SVG that help to make women.
“It gives us the opportunity to take our products and services out there,” Minister Peters stated. “I just want you to know that I will be paying close attention to your products, because we have a lot of things in store at the Ministry of Foreign Trade where we would be looking at implementing a very robust trade policy…We are going to be working along with our producers and our businesspeople, and I will be taking interest in what you will be doing.”
She also praised the government of Taiwan for demonstrating its continued commitment to SVG.
The WEP–SVG is being executed by the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc. (CED), a unit in the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Information Technology, headed by the Hon. Camillo Gonsalves, who expressed gratitude to Taiwan. He said that one of the central pillars of the government’s policy for the country’s economic development is to empower entrepreneurs and small businesses. However, Gonsalves said, the government cannot do so by itself.
“In no way, shape or form do we think we can do it alone. We have a role to play, but a dynamic private sector led by dynamic entrepreneurs and small businesses will be the engine for growth and development in St. Vincent and the Grenadines for years to come,” Minister Gonsalves stated.
The WEP began in August last year and will conclude at the end of December. Currently there are thirty-one (31) women participating in the third cohort of the project. (Submitted by CED)