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Screen_Shot_2014-02-12_at_8.11.30_PMEuropean Union Ambassador Her Excellency Paolo Amadei is in Belize making her rounds and was in Orange Walk Town today. She was at the La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited building visiting with beneficiaries of the Small Scale Enterprise Development in Agriculture and Tourism II, LICU-SSEDAT II, project being implemented by the LICU and financed by the European Union under the Accompanying Measures for Sugar Program. We caught up with the visiting delegation at the LICU and here is a look at what transpired.


Dalila Ical – Reporting

 

The La Inmaculada Credit Union held an improved marketing technique workshop with local micro entrepreneurs currently under the LICU-SSEDAT II project. The workshop falls under continuous training for participants of the project and according to Project Coordinator Albino Vargas, there is a need to assist the entrepreneurs in further marketing their products or services.

 

Albino Vargas – Project Coordinator


“One of the things that we see that we are lacking is this ability to market, this ability to sell, to close the deal, to convince our people why they should buy Belizean, so we are working with the small entrepreneurs an offering them training in how to improve their marketing techniques.”

 

Dalila ical – Reporter


“How has that worked so far?”

 

Albino Vargas – Project Coordinator

 

“They have gone a long way to be honest but there is still a long way to go, our products as you know, many of our micro-entrepreneurs lack the most basic infrastructure so what we are dealing is trying to assist those who we can help in accessing finances for infrastructure, trying to also help them in guaranteeing food safety and now we are looking at the marketing component of it, it has come a long way but there is still a lot more to do.”

 

There are currently thirty micro businesses under the project. Of these at least twenty-one business men and women attended the workshop. As they presented their products and services that range from coconut oil, soy milk, lemon grass production to services such as massages and tours they received a courtesy call from European Union Ambassador Her Excellency Paolo Amadei. Ambassador Amadei says she her trip to Belize has been long overdue, especially her visit to the LICU.

 

Paoloa Amadei – Ambassador, European Union


“It’s one of the most successful partner that we have here in Belize promoting entrepreneurship and the small business and I am very happy today to be able to see first-hand the result of the work of the institution and the women and man from the communities, it a project that very much respond to our objective to promote local development and to help community help themselves.”

 

Ambassador Amadei says the project was developed to offer alternative and complimentary income to communities in the sugar dependent area of Belize. She adds that what she saw today is quote, “proof of the success”.

 

PaoloaAmadei – Ambassador, European Union


“La Inmaculada has also done a very good job in associating themselves with group of civil society here in the areas working for health, education, culture and this is I would say one of the standard bearer of cooperation here together with other institution.”

 

She says that the EU has also been closely supporting programs with the YWCA and SIRDI. According to the Ambassador, the EU will continue to provide financing for Belize in the coming financing year 2014/2020 and funds will likely be increased. In 2013, Belize received the largest disbursement of over fourteen million euros, an equivalent of Bze$38 million. These monies, she adds are in the form of grant thus Belize’s debt does not increase.

 

PaoloaAmadei – Ambassador, European Union


“It’s a gift to the country and what we are aiming is to promote more affluent, healthier, better educated communities and I am very happy to see the result here.”


The EU has funded LICU-SSEDAT II project to the tune of $1.3 million with the LICU financing an additional 330 thousand dollars. Project Coordinator Albino Vargas says the project has been extended for an additional four months and they are hoping that they can include twenty to twenty-five more entrepreneurs into the program.

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