EU-COSME and USM join to support entrepreneurs with free training

Prakaash Rostam


PHILIPSBURG – The European Union (EU) funded COSME Programme, is launching a 3-day Small and Medium-sized Enterprise: Start and Develop Your Business (SME-SDB) “21st Century Entrepreneurship” training program in St. Maarten, in collaboration with the University of St. Martin (USM).

This training is part of a series of trainings, which are also implemented in all the other 11 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs).

This SME-SDB 21st Century Entrepreneurship Training Program is being coordinated by Prakaash Rostam, Key Expert SME and Private Sector Development Specialist, and the workshops are facilitated by international trainer Erwin Wolthuis. The partner involved with this program is USM. This approach is to create a sustainable structure, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop their skills and broaden their knowledge on 21st century entrepreneurship.

Rostam emphasizes that institutional capacity building is as an important ingredient for the sustainability of entrepreneurs. He identifies the combination of knowledge and skills in business development and management as a key factor for every entrepreneur. “As the playground for entrepreneurs is getting more global, we should be aware of the global rules of this game of entrepreneurship,” he stated, being an International Trainer and Business Development Consultant.

Dr. Francio Guadeloupe, President of the USM added that traditionally St. Maarteners have been workers-entrepreneurs. They may have been employed in a hotel or restaurant, but usually had, what was called “something on the side.” This “something on the side” was chairs that they rented to tourists, catering that they did on the weekends, or say a car rental of 3 cars.

This was the St. Maarten spirit. Now besides this work ethic, St. Maarteners also put a premium on education and being informed about world affairs. USM is teaming up with COSME to revive and update this tradition for our modern times. This is an open invitation to all St. Maarteners, who still believe in having that “little something on the side” and more than that, namely, cultivating it that it may become “the thing that provides most of the bread on their table.”

“Knowledge is power, skills are your tools, so why not choose to conquer this world by creating opportunities for all, through entrepreneurship,” Rostam concluded.

This first course, which will be held on the evenings of February 13, 14 and 15, from 5:30pm till 9:00pm, has a limited availability. Interested (prospective) entrepreneurs can register by contacting Wolthuis at phone: 586-0437 or email: Registration will follow the first come-first served principle.