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Local Government Minister announces Launch of Special Community Development Programme through Small Business

Local Government and Community Development Minister, Noel Arscott, says the Local Economic Development Support Programme (LEDSP), will be launched next month.

In his contribution to the 2015/16 Sectoral Debate today, Mr. Arscott announced that while the programme will be officially launched in May, the LEDSP is already being implemented through the Ministry’s Agency, the Social Development Commission (SDC). The SDC  is providing assistance through training, business plan development and networking of more than 60 projects island-wide, valued at J$268 million.  Additional projects, at a minimum value of J$33 million are proposed for this financial year.

Mr. Arscott stated that the LEDSP will allow for job creation for people within their communities. “The Local Economic Development Support Programme is island-wide in scope, and designed to bring partners in your area together, to create opportunities for you.

In preparation for the program, 27 SDC officers were trained and certified in social entrepreneurship and business development by the Mona school of business at the University of the West Indies, and scores of community persons have received training in models for business development in island wide workshops organized by the SDC. In addition, 16 business and entrepreneurship seminars were held, and 31 business plans created. The SDC has been working with people in their communities, to develop viable business projects in agriculture, beekeeping/apiculture, craft, food processing, plastic bottle recycling and water harvesting among others. The SDC, working with its partners, implemented 74 successful initiatives, valued at J$450 million.”