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Belize Chamber of Commerce awards MSME Inclusivity Grant for persons with disabilities to Miguel Vejerano of Corozal

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Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2022. 12:17 pm CST.

Photo Credit: BCCI

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has awarded Miguel Vejerano of Corozal a Micro, Small, Medium Enterprises (MSME) Inclusivity Grant.

On Monday, the BCCI said Vejerano will receive a $2,500.00 grant along with one-year free membership at the Belize Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

The BCCI said in a press release that on November 30, at Belize’s National Disability Conference, the BCCI, with funding from the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize and in support of persons living with Disabilities in Belize, offered a grant for entrepreneurs living with a disability.

Thirty-one-year-old Vejerano, who lost his eyesight 13 years ago, was chosen from among seven persons who applied for the grant. They all had to submit a short video or write-up of their business idea explaining how they would be moving forward with their entrepreneurial aspirations.

Vejerano thanked God for giving him the opportunity to compete for the grant.

“I want to give thanks to each and everyone, it’s a blessing for me,” said Bejerano.

“I’m very excited to know I’m the winner of this grant which will help benefit, not only me but also other persons, like I said in my registration video, that I have a programme especially for disabled persons,” Vejarano added.

The BCCI said Vejerano is currently self-employed as an Electronic Technician, and he also offers non-visual technological guides and training workshops to help others who are visually impaired.

“Mr. Vejerano plans to use the grant funds to extend his business and offer one-on-one training on how to use smart devices to persons living with a disability. He is also a part of the visually impaired program at the Belize Council for the Visually Impaired (BCVI),” said the BCCI.

BCCI president Marissa Longsworth said the BCCI considers every person in Belize regardless of their ability or disability as an equal person and told Vejerano the BCCI looks forward to hearing about the growth and development of his enterprise.

“We encourage you to keep pushing and we really hope this token, this grant will be able to assist you with pushing to the next level for your business and for your training academy, which is a very admirable aspect that you are implementing into your business, to help others even while you develop your skills and your enterprise,” Longsworth said.

“I’m exceedingly proud of you,” said Marshall Nunez of the Ministry of Human Development’s Disability Desk.

“A couple years ago the theme for International Disability Day was based around technology and assistive devices. I think you really and truly epitomize how we can take full advantage of that. I’m exceedingly proud of your initiative. I think you’re very innovative.”

Lanny Yeh of the Taiwan Embassy said that the Embassy appreciates the opportunity to help.

“We would like to see more opportunities for collaboration with this kind of activity to help Belizean people especially with vision challenges or different kinds of challenges so Taiwan can be more involved and help,” said Yeh.

The BCCI expressed gratitude to the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Belize for partnering with the BCCI and offering this opportunity to a Belizean entrepreneur living with a disability and also thanked the Disability Desk in the Ministry of Human Development for their continued guidance and support to the grant programme.

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