By Aabigayle McIntosh
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the University of the West Indies Five Islands Campus have signed a partnership agreement to establish a Small Business Development Center.
This initiative aims to promote the growth and development of micro and small enterprises by offering training, consultancy services, and other support.
The partnership also includes joint strategies to achieve this goal.
E.P Chet Greene, the Foreign and Trade Minister, expressed his belief that this initiative further demonstrates the value of UWIFIC to the country’s development and the subregion.
“It is my hope that over we will have greater influence and input in other areas of national life as we had science and academia to what we do overall in Antigua and Barbuda and by extension the region. I may come back to you very soon to look at the area of Agriculture, food safety, and other issues that are today trending globally,” the minister said.
Principal Professor C. Justin Robinson also commended the ministry for the time it took to establish the partnership.
He explained that the university has a mission to make higher education more accessible in Antigua and the OECS.
The partnership is an important first step towards achieving this objective. The ultimate goal is to create a critical mass of skills and expertise that will put these countries on a better growth path in the future.
“One of the most exciting parts of this MOU that we want to action immediately is our Seed Programme, an entrepreneurship program that exists at the Cave Hill Campus, and on the other campuses are only for UWI students.
“Via this MOU we are going to open up that program to business persons coming through the ministry so that they can have access to this training even if they are not UWI students. And, I am quite pleased to hear from the minister that this is only a start because I want to emphasize that this is your campus, we are here to serve and if you have a new initiative, we are too keen to partner,” Professor Robinson outlined.