Women Entrepreneurs Benefit From Financial Inclusion Webinar
(CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – Thursday, June 23, 2022) – Nearly sixty women entrepreneurs recently benefitted from a webinar that aimed to equip them with the knowledge they need when accessing finance for their businesses.
The webinar, entitled “Financial Inclusion for Women Entrepreneurs”, was hosted by the Taiwan Technical Mission (TTM) in collaboration with the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC).
Facilitators for the webinar were Carmen Gomez-Trigg, Chief Executive Officer of the Eastern Caribbean Partial Credit Guarantee Corporation (ECPCGC), and Catherine Charles, Specialist from the Saint Lucia Development Bank (SLDB). Both facilitators outlined how participants can benefit from financing offered by their respective agencies, and fielded questions from participants.
Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, H.E. Peter Chia-yen Chen, said he was pleased with the high number of women entrepreneurs who joined the webinar. He also thanked Hon. Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, for promoting women and youth empowerment projects.
“Minister Hippolyte and her team in the Ministry of Commerce have rendered a lot of assistance on gathering resources for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, and lend support to women enterprises,” Ambassador Chen said during his brief remarks. “Taiwan will continue to work with the Government of Saint Lucia to promote youth and women empowerment and entrepreneurship in Saint Lucia.”
Hon. Emma Hippolyte, Minister for Commerce, Manufacturing, Business Development, Cooperatives and Consumer Affairs, said women account for over half of Saint Lucia’s population. Despite this, she stated that women’s economic impact is not felt to the same extent of their male counterparts. Hon. Hippolyte encouraged women entrepreneurs to take advantage of the opportunities being offered through the Women’s Economic Empowerment Guarantee Project.
“The outcome of this webinar will seek to arm (women) with the necessary wherewithal for financial inclusion or consideration in the Saint Lucian economy,” she said during the webinar.
Hon. Hippolyte thanked the ECPCGC and SLDB representatives for participating in the webinar that sensitized women entrepreneurs about the Taiwan-sponsored Youth and Women Empowerment Project and the financial services available. She also thanked Taiwan for its continued support to Saint Lucia.
“We are eternally grateful to Ambassador Chen and the Taiwanese people for their continuous support that they have provided,” Hon. Hippolyte said. “We have seen the great strides that women are taking to acquire financial independence, and, thus, the gender inequality gap for financial inclusion should be a thing of the past.”
According to the World Bank, financial inclusion for women contributes significantly to their economic empowerment and gender equality. Recognizing this, TaiwanICDF has decided to finance the Women’s Economic Empowerment Guarantee Project, a regional technical assistance project, which aims to enhance the capacity of women MSMEs in the chosen ECCB member countries to assess the financial services provided by local financial institutions. To implement this Project, TaiwanICDF and the ECPCGC entered into an agreement online on March 30, 2022, in the amount of US$5 million.
Taiwan has also launched a three-month Business Incubator Programme, a components of the Upskilling Academy Jennès Programme, aiming to train youth and women start-up entrepreneurs. It consists of seminars, workshops and practical projects that are structured to continuously increase the participant’s knowledge.
The practical component of this Business Incubator Programme allows aspiring entrepreneurs to launch and run a successful start-up business within an incubatory environment.
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