The Programme works through the Development Bank of St Kitts and Nevis (DBSKN) to provide loans for entrepreneurs, ensuring access to funding for business activities that will further bolster the Federation’s growing economy.
Speaking on a local radio station on 14 March, Prime Minister Dr the Honourable Timothy Harris gave insight into the status of the Programme, outlining that 478 people – and EC$38 million in loans – had already been approved under the scheme.
The Prime Minister also revealed that EC$20 million are still available under the Programme, and pledged that an additional EC$35.4 million would be redirected to the Programme. Dr Harris added that the Programme was the largest funding by any Government in support of SMEs.
Commenting on the goals of the Programme, Dr Harris said: “The ordinary man in St Kitts and Nevis – the poor man – and those who basically have ideas but no backers, could find easy access to financing because the studies show that small businesses create 70 per cent of jobs in the economies, so if we build that we are building the prospects for economic growth. We are empowering more people to stand on their own two feet and we are encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship.”
The World Bank estimates that the economy of St Kitts and Nevis grew by 4.9 percent in 2015, and 3 percent in 2016. It expects growth above 3 percent for the coming three years.