Cooperation agreement announced to boost MSME support in Sint Maarten

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Philipsburg, Sint Maarten The National Recovery Program Bureau (NRPB) and the Sint Maarten Entrepreneurship Development Center (SEDC), endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunications (TEATT), are pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) aimed at supporting the implementation of the Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP).

The EDP is a 4-week training program designed to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with essential business skills, fostering a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in Sint Maarten. The program, consisting of eight sessions in business fundamentals, will run four times over the course of one year. This MOU marks the first step towards future collaborative efforts between NRPB and SEDC and covers the period from January 2024 to June 2025.

The NRPB is implementing the Enterprise Support Project (ESP) as part of the Sint Maarten Trust Fund, financed by the Dutch Government and managed by the World Bank. Through a combination of grants and loans, this project bolsters MSMEs across diverse sectors. The primary goal is to enhance recovery and resilience through direct financial aid, thereby revitalizing economic activity. To date, the ESP has provided loans and grants totaling $17.1 million to over 250 MSMEs. With the ESP application deadline closing in June 2025, the recent MOU with SEDC is timely, ensuring continued support and development for MSMEs. The SEDC aims to serve as a crucial bridge between the government and the community, facilitating various development programs and policies that promote the long-term sustainability and growth of micro- and small businesses on the island.

Claret Connor, Director of the NRPB, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership: “The signing of this MOU with SEDC marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to support MSMEs in Sint Maarten. By leveraging the positive impact already created for businesses through the ESP project, we aim to ensure continued benefits for local entrepreneurs. With the combination of our resources and expertise, we are confident that we can create a thriving environment for local entrepreneurs.”

SEDC President Pearl Hendrickson added, “This MOU aligns with SEDC’s guiding principle of fostering public, academic, and private collaboration to collectively invest in promoting job creation and income generation. By establishing new MSMEs and empowering existing ones, we aim to ensure sustainability, eliminate inefficiencies, and avoid duplication of work.”

This initial MOU between NRPB and SEDC represents a critical milestone in the mission to empower MSMEs. Both organizations will continue to explore future collaborations to provide MSMEs with the necessary tools, knowledge, and support to succeed.

For more information about the training program, please contact SEDC at admin@sedc.sx or 721-542-8898.