Thu | Oct 1, 2020

Earth Today | Caribbean Sea Innovation Fund supports nature-based microenterprises

Published:Thursday | September 10, 2020 | 12:09 AM
Ashton Multipurpose Cooperative Limited (AMCO), a community-led sea moss cooperative based on Union Island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, has received a CarSIF SME microgrant to build capacity of their members in financial management, recordkeeping a
Ashton Multipurpose Cooperative Limited (AMCO), a community-led sea moss cooperative based on Union Island in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, has received a CarSIF SME microgrant to build capacity of their members in financial management, recordkeeping and marketing to enhance their sea moss business operations.

EIGHT SMALL and microenterprises (SMEs) from The Bahamas, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, and St Vincent and the Grenadines were recently awarded micro grants by the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) totalling US$13,500.

This will support the strengthening of these businesses for the development of sustainable community livelihoods.

The micro grants are a key component of the regional project Powering Innovations in Civil Society and Enterprises for Sustainability in the Caribbean (PISCES), which is being funded by the European Union. These micro grants were awarded under the Caribbean Sea Innovation Fund (CarSIF) facility established by CANARI in 2019 to address priority needs and actions in the Caribbean on marine and coastal resources governance and management.

The successful SME micro grant awardees are Captain Phil and Mel’s Bonefishing Guide Services (The Bahamas), Local Area Management Authority for Soufriere Scott’s Head Marine Reserve (Dominica), Petite Martinique Women in Action (Grenada), KOOPA-3B (Haiti), KOOPEK-3B (Haiti), Bluefields Bay Fishermen Friendly Society (Jamaica), Eco South Tours Inc (St Lucia) and Ashton Multipurpose Cooperative Limited (Saint Vincent and the Grenadines).

These SMEs are operated by local community entrepreneurs and are based on the sustainable use of coastal and marine ecosystems. The micro grants will support the SMEs with developing business plans and marketing strategies, capacity-building in core business areas such as financial management and record-keeping, as well as climate- proofing and/or greening of their business operations.

All projects are expected to be completed by the end of February 2021. The SMEs will receive technical support to implement their projects from CANARI and in-country SME mentors who have been trained by CANARI in SME capacity-strengthening, climate-proofing and greening methodologies under the PISCES project.

The four-year (2017-2020) PISCES project is being implemented by CANARI in partnership with the Caribbean Coastal Area Management Foundation, the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisations, the Environmental Awareness Group, the Fondation pour la Protection de la Biodiversité Marine, Sustainable Grenadines Inc, and the St Lucia National Trust.

PISCES will contribute to addressing priority issues and needs in the Caribbean by enhancing marine and coastal biodiversity conservation, sustainable livelihoods and socio-economic development.