SEDU continues to issue small business loans despite challenges of COVID-19
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 02, 2020) — Mrs. Angela Delpeche, Director at the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) in the Ministry of Finance, is assuring potential entrepreneurs that the agency continues to issue small business loans even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SEDU Business Development Unit assists, develops and promotes small businesses in Nevis, providing technical assistance to entrepreneurs in the form of strategic planning, operational efficiency, business counselling, cash sales projection, business training and funding.
Mrs. Delpeche said persons interested in starting a business can visit SEDU to fill out an application form, and bring along their business plan and two forms of photo identification.
“We offer interested persons a business counseling session where they would explain the content of their business plan to basically sell us on the their idea. Even if they don’t have a business plan persons can call or visit us and explain what they want to and we can take it from there.
“We then ensure you have all the documentation and other requirements to complete the process.
“SEDU offers a maximum of $100,000 and persons can get up to 10 years to repay that amount. The interest rate is only 4 percent,” she explained.
Mrs. Delpeche said since receiving the $5 million injection for the Entrepreneurship Fund, uptake on loans has been steady.
She said the normal turn-around for loan applications is generally about one week once all the documentation and requirements are in place. Once persons are successful with their start up business, SEDU continues to offer counseling and monitoring sessions for at least the first year.
“We go to the businesses, see how they’re doing, find out if there are any difficulties, see how we can assist, and recommend ways to improve sales.
“We are making sure the business venture is viable. At the end of the day we want you to be profitable, be able to repay the loan and have a successful business,” she said.
In August 2020, 14 persons (11 females and 3 males) successfully completed a business boot camp hosted by the Ministry of Gender Affairs, and were able to access funding for their businesses through SEDU.
Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis and Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, speaking at his August 27, 2020, press conference, encouraged persons interested in starting their own business or expanding an existing small venture, to make use of the opportunity to apply to SEDU for funding.
He said the Entrepreneurship Fund is especially intended to assist women and youth entrepreneurs on Nevis.