The Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC) hosted the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of The Commonwealth Dominica at its signature Eggs & Issues Breakfast on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The topic for discussion at this event was, “The Dominica Entrepreneurship Visa Program: Opportunities for Economic Advancement and Population Growth’.
This event provided a platform for members and stakeholders of the DAIC to directly engage the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, on the new Entrepreneurship Visa Program which was highlighted as a new path to obtaining citizenship in Dominica.
Before speaking on the Entrepreneurship Visa Program, Honorable Roosevelt Skerrit shared other initiatives that were geared at supporting the Private Sector and increasing the attractiveness of Dominica as a place to do business, such as the international airport, transformation of the digital economy, facilitation of online payments, a legal framework to support businesses and consumers, among others.
Attendees were further enlightened that the Entrepreneurship Visa Program is a new platform for entrepreneurship financing and engagement, as well as an opportunity to generate new residency and consumer activity on the island. This Entrepreneurship Visa Program is currently before the Cabinet for approval and will be launched in early 2021.
Participants in the program will be encouraged to contribute US $50,000 into an investment fund for entrepreneurs or spend US $100,000 on starting a business in Dominica or providing equity investment in an existing local business. Additionally, there will be a requirement to deposit US$100,000 in a local financial institution which can be used and depleted during their residency.
As shared by the Honourable Roosevelt Skerrit, there are several important benefits of this program. Primarily, this program will add new consumers into our country as participants are required to spend a minimum of 200 days over a two-year period. This and other requirements will qualify them to become citizens. Secondly, this will stimulate new investments in growing local businesses as qualifying local companies will have access to this special fund capitalized by funding from the participants in the program, and thirdly, it will add new energy and vitality to the economy as new applicants can either take equity stakes in local businesses which seem attractive to them or invest in new businesses in areas which the Government will mandate as available or needed to focus on employment creation. The Prime Minister encouraged the Private Sector and all Dominicans to embrace this program
DAIC supports the special focus on injecting capital into MSMEs and entrepreneurs on more flexible and easier access terms. The Chamber looks forward to continuing to provide insight and support to ensure that the Private Sector fully benefits from this program, as it provides an important stimulus for sustaining livelihoods, expanding businesses, and encouraging increased economic activity.
The Board of Directors and Executive confirmed that the presentation was very informative and gratitude is expressed to the Honourable Prime Minister for accepting the DAIC’s invitation to directly engage the membership and stakeholders.
DAIC further expresses gratitude to the following partners in the hosting of this event: Digicel Dominica Ltd., Do It Center, Fort Young Hotel, SOL EC Ltd., ADS Construction Inc. CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank, The National Bank of Dominica, Advance Global Partners, Dominica Cooperative Societies League Limited, Wykies Auto NAPA Dominica, and Springfield Trading Limited..