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The Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) was established in the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Consumer Affairs in 1994 with the mandate to facilitate the sustainable development of the micro and small business sectors. To that end, SEDU provides guidance, technical assistance and training to existing and prospective entrepreneurs.
Micro and Small businesses have the potential to create and expand employment opportunities, develop entrepreneurial skills, enhance market opportunities, encourage export promotion and import substitution. Recognizing the important role this sector plays in contributing to the social and economic development of the country, SEDU was established. It was first funded by contributions from the Government of Saint Lucia (GOSL), the United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) and the International Labour Organization (ILO)however the total financing of the operations of the Unit is by the Government of Saint Lucia.
The Micro & Small Scale Business Enterprise Act #19, 1998 (amended December 2001) is what guides the operations of The Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU)
As defined by the Act: Micro & Small Business
A Micro business
a. Employment: maximum of five (5) persons
b. Asset base: $75,000.00
c. Sales (annual turnover): not more than $100,000.000
A Small business:
a. Employment: maximum fifty (50) persons
b. Asset base: $500.000.00
c. Sales: not more than $1,000,000.000
The act seeks to do the following among other things:
The Small Enterprise Development Unit's Work Programmes are designed to fulfill the Strategic Agenda items of the National Industrial Policy (NIP)
National Industrial Policy (NIP)
This is the first Industrial Policy for St Lucia which will operate in tandem with, and be influenced by a number of other Government policies and institutions. These are relevant and necessary to create a supportive environment for the development and growth of competitive private sector businesses. Trade policy is a prime example.
In addition to membership of the WTO and the Lomé Convention, St Lucia is signatory to many regional trade agreements offering preferential access to markets in the wider Caribbean as well as North and South America. This will operate as a driver for gradual liberalisation of St Lucia's own trade policies and procedures. The government recognizes however, that the pace of such liberalization needs to strike a careful balance between the need to fulfill its obligations, the need for genuine reciprocity by other countries and the need for its own industry to prepare to respond to new opportunities.
National Industrial Policy Strategies
These services are opened to all legal micro and small existing and potential businesses.
1 Entrepreneurial Development
These programs are designed to assist and introduce current and prospective business owners to acquire the knowledge required to manage their businesses more effectively and efficiently.
2 Access to Finance
3 Market and Product Development
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