Nine ambitious entrepreneurs are the first to benefit from the newly established Enterprise Assistance Grant Programme of the Business Development Unit (BDU) in the Division of Finance and Enterprise Development.
The nine received the grants to start their businesses in beauty culture, construction, woodworking, vehicle maintenance, childcare and fitness.
Following the receipt of their cheques, Finance and Enterprise Development Secretary Dr Anslem London urged them to make full use of the BDU facilities that include counselling and book-keeping. He said the unit had distributed over 500 application forms for grants which had a ceiling of $25,000.
In delivering the feature address at the ceremony at the Rotunda of the Milford Road Esplanade on Tuesday, THA Chief Secretary Orville London said governance was about developing things and developing people, adding that developing things was much easier than developing people.
He said where developing things were concerned, Tobago was way ahead of the game in the country, be it in education, health centres, road infrastructure, community centres, hard courts and tennis courts. “I say here categorically, I want to tell you that when this head of government gives you information it is accurate and I am saying where these things are concerned Tobago is in fact ahead of Trinidad,” London stressed.
He said because his administration had done so well that it had made Tobago more attractive resulting in more people wanting to get involved. He asked: “Therefore the question we have to ask ourselves, how prepared are we as Tobagonians to not only defend that attractive space we now have but also to develop ourselves within that attractive space.”
London said to do that one must provide, prepare and produce. He added that over the years the Assembly had provided opportunities for Tobagonians to develop themselves and nobody can say this was not so. He told the recipients that they have to assist in preparing themselves and be in a position to show results.
“I want us to understand that in fact we in Tobago are in transition and if we don’t make that transition fast enough and effective enough Tobago and Tobagonians are going to be overwhelmed,” London said.
He added: “We have got to change our mindset; we have got to change our attitude. We have got to understand that as Tobagonians we have got to change ourselves because if you don’t change yourselves somebody will do it for you.”
London also advised the recipients to take advantage of all the expertise and guidance being offered by the BDU.