Local authorities here to help implement Cdn$23M CIDA small business project

Small and medium-sized enterprises in Guyana are to benefit from a four-year, Canadian International Development Agency-funded programme targeting similar business entities in six other Caricom countries for sustainable growth.

The Caribbean Local Economic Deve-lopment Programme (Cariled) Cdn$23 million project will be implemented by the Federation of Caribbean Municipa-lities (FCM) in collaboration with the Caribbean Forum of Local Government Ministers, the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities and the Commonwealth Local Government Forum. The project will be executed with the direct involvement of local authorities and other agencies in communities in the respective countries.

The first phase of the six-year  (2012-2018), three-phased project  will involve aggressive support for “quick start, quick win” small and medium-sized business projects in communities in selected countries for technical and other forms of support. Work in identifying such projects will be undertaken in collaboration with the local authorities.

While local governments in several Caribbean countries may well possess the physical infrastructure to support the execution of such a programme, it is felt that few of them have the necessary resources to do so. Cariled seeks to challenge local government institutions in the region to demonstrate a capacity to function effectively to support the growth of enterprise in their communities. Projects supported by Cariled will also embrace those that espouse the themes relating to gender, environment, communications and outreach, knowledge management and programme coordination.
The second phase of the project will see Cariled extend support to 30 communities in the selected countries, while working more closely at the national level in the theme areas.

In its third phase Cariled will seek to expand its work across the wider Caribbean in order to allow additional regional small and medium-sized businesses to benefit from the programme.

Cariled seeks to provide local authorities within the region with greater opportunities to contribute to local economic development. The project documentation identifies lack of policy and legislative framework, poor local and central government programme coordination, scarcity of business development expertise, limited financial resources and challenges in monitoring and evaluation as being among the reasons why local authorities do not play a more substantial role in local economic development.

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