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CB, First Heritage partner with SDC on business development

Published:Sunday | July 14, 2013 | 12:00 AM
Ashad Baker won Overall Best Sauce at the recent 2013 CB Pan Chicken Championship Central Regional Elimination. Participants from the CB Pan Chicken Championship will be among the panel of presenters at the SDC/FHC/CB Entrepreneurial Workshops.
Signatories (from left) Maria Morrison, acting CEO of First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union; Dr Dwayne Vernon, executive director, Social Development Commission; and Mark Haskins, CEO, Caribbean Broilers Group, finalise a memorandum of understanding called the SDC/FHC/CB Entrepreneurial Initiative at the end of June to encourage small business ownership. - Contributed

A three-way partnership of First Heritage Co-operative Credit Union (FHC), Caribbean Broilers Group and Social Development Commission (SDC) was sealed two weeks ago to facilitate MSME business growth in 783 communities.

According to SDC executive, Dr Dwayne Vernon, the partners will advise potential entre-preneurs on business funding, marketing and managing small and micro enterprises.

FHC marketing officer Alece Hansel said the community bank is conducting seven workshops regionally with potential business operators.

"If their projects are viable, yes, we will offer them loans. The sum possible will depend on the type of business we are looking at," said Hansel.

"We can lend up to J$500,000 unsecured. The interest rate depends on the type of venture."

First time borrowers can borrow up to J$250,000. And the credit union has a small business loan portfolio of J$133 million into which the project participants can tap.

"We are looking at 25 to 30 projects per workshop. Each workshop is expected to have at least 50 participants," Hansel said.

Alicia Bogues, brand manager for CB Chicken and Bad Dawg Sausages, said that through a pre-existing partnership with First Heritage, the credit union contributes J$250,000 to the annual pan chicken winner to expand his or her business, principally into a catering service.

"We have had one winner who has opened a restaurant. Others have bettered their lives and gotten exposure - being requested to cater events. They get catering opportunities which are guaranteed sales," said Bogues.

The current partnership, she said, allows CB to reach out to a wider network of communities under its pan chicken programme.

The primary aim of the partnership with SDC is to create jobs through self-employment in income challenged communities, the partners said.