Small and Micro Enterprise Development has been central to the work of Plenty Belize since its inception. From our early assistance to groups such as the Toledo Ecotourism Association and the Fajina Craft Center, to our more recent SME work first as a service provider to BRDP and then as partners in EU funded grants, we recognize that poverty is an overriding issue that must be addressed to adequately address any social development.
Belize Rural Development Project Microgrants (2007)
Working as a service provider to the EU-funded BRDP, Plenty Belize managed a microgrant project for the Toledo District. Between May and October 2007, Plenty Belize give out 48 microgrants (maximum size BZ$1,000 or US$500) to assist with starting or improving small businesses for the poor in the rural areas of the Toledo District. Priority was given to single parents, elderly, youths who are helping to support siblings, and to the disabled.
Recipients used the funds they received for a variety of different businesses, including but not limited to: Seamstress Shops, Small Engine Repair, Butcher and Meat Shop, Firewood sales, Solar Electricity Installation, Chicken Raising, Pig Rearing, Egg Selling, and Baking. Of the 48 recipients 20 attending classes to learn about basic business practices, accounting, banking and marketing. Plenty Belize would like to thank our staff, trainers, and all involved with the BRDP Microgrant program for making it a huge success.
Business Training Session
Micro-grants For Poor Families Program
As a partner with BEST in this EU funded project, we are providing 200 families with support to start or expand their micro enterprises in Belize, Cayo, and Toledo Districts. BEST manages the project in Belize and Cayo, and Plenty Belize manages the project here in the Toledo District. Over 90 people were given training in basic business planning. 60 of these people recieved further support. This support included financial assistance, regular visits by field officers to monitor and offer advice, and additional training in 3 key subject areas: Book keeping, Entrepreunership, and Savings & Loans. Priority was given to single mothers, but all reciepients were below the poverty level at the beginning of their project experience. At this time, we expect an 80% success rate.