Small business owners want easier source of loans

Participants of the consultation
Participants of the consultation

Small business owners in Dominica want financial institutions to create a friendlier environment for aspiring entrepreneurs to be able to acquire funds and source loans.

The issue was raised last evening at a National Foundation of Dominica (NDFD) Small Business Consultation which aimed to bring to light some of the challenges that small business owners face.

One Small business owner, Fermine Layne, pointed out that when unemployed aspiring entrepreneurs seek loans, the requirements imposed by financial institutions are way beyond them.

“From my experience in the past, a lot of young people have brilliant ideas, older ones too, but they are not employed at any institution,” she stated. “So when they come to the financial institutions to get funding, if you have to get one dollar from a bank you have to have one dollar saved in that bank. In terms of security you have to have land, you have to have someone to take a loan on your account, which means salary deductions.”

Layne said further that financial institutions need to find new ways to address this sensitive issue and reach down to the needs of the unemployed youths who want to make something of themselves.

Members of the Arts and Crafts Producers Association and the Manufacturers Association agreed. They argued that that small enterprises and even the students from the Portsmouth Secondary School who are showing keen interest in developing small businesses, are unemployed and don’t have any collateral and hence they won’t be able to get a loan.

Executive Director of the NDFD, Cletus Joseph, said the purpose of the consultation was to hear first hand of the needs of the organization’s clients.

“From business owners and representatives who kind of really inform us as to the types of products that they would like to have, so we will be using that information to guide us in formulating our policies and even procedures that we need to have in dealing with small business owners that we give loans,” he said.

There were over 50 participants at the consultation with representatives from the Fisheries Division, Cooperative Division, and Dominica Manufacturers Association, Dominica Arts and Craft Association as well as small business owners.

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  1. June 21, 2013

    Small business is the life blood of any economy, maybe some of the restrictions should be re-examined .

  2. Again
    June 21, 2013

    NBD told me the other day that they no longer give loans less than five thousand dollars and you must have that amount in the bank or more to get a loan from them plus plus plus plus. NO chance for our future children…I took out all my money there went to NCCU and I only needed $50 to get what I needed….all the rest of my money safe…business done and friendly staff…NO THAT’S DOMINICA

  3. June 20, 2013

    Banks are not out friends, they are businesses, whos gold is to make Money, nobody like loses, So if Dominica got 2.5 million extra dollars, we should invest it the small businesses, not LIAT, who not calling Sherrit a shareholder
    These funds should be made availabel in the form of small loans and big companies like Astaphans should pay all the taxes they owe, this could help finance more loan

  4. DC
    June 20, 2013

    It is my view that Government and the Private Sector need to work hand in hand. Much more emphasis needs to be placed on these small businesses. After all, they have already taken a risk by going into business, give them the incentives to remain afloat. These Institutions approach in assisting small businesses is very discouraging. One has to be very strong to continue, as the system is designed to deter you as an entrepreneur. With all these hurdles, i still believe entrepreneurship is the way to go. We need to study the market carefully and choose a good line of business.

    • RBX
      June 20, 2013

      The government willing to provide what, $4 million to hairdressers? So what about all the other small businesses?

  5. Nacinimod
    June 20, 2013

    Banks are not in the business of providing seed money. Capital should come from investors in the form share capital or partnership equity capital.

    • Not a herd follower
      June 20, 2013

      That’s not show. Banks do provide seed capital if one has a convincing business plan.

    • Anonymous
      June 20, 2013

      If local banks are not willing to give funding when needed then boycott them by removing your participation.

    • June 20, 2013

      If local banks are not willing to give funding when needed then boycott them by removing your participation.

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