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Six entrepreneurs to get capital following training in business development with funding from U.S. Embassy

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Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2022. 6:40 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Six small businesses in Belize City, Dangriga, and Orange Walk Town have been selected from among 29 small business owners who participated in a workshop hosted by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and funded by the U.S. Embassy.

At a closing ceremony today in Belmopan, the winners were named as Tamarie Rocke, owner of Refillery Co. in Belize City, Andrea Castaneda of Lokok’ Teep from Orange Walk, and Rose Parks of Granny Ivy’s Herbal Soaps from Dangriga. The runners-up were Randi Samuda, of RKS Customs of Belize City, Maria Solia Huertas of Apilife All in Bees of Orange Walk, and Rasheed Arzu, of Storyteller Media in Dangriga.

The budding entrepreneurs as part of the BELTRAIDE/U.S. Embassy Belize Entrepreneurship Fest, were provided skills training, resources, mentorship, and a public platform for Belizean entrepreneurs to expand their businesses. Business and marketing experts provided tools and best practices to overcome challenges in creating, launching, and sustaining profitable business plans. The entrepreneurs also participated in a business pitch competition.

U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Leyla Moses-Ones said, “Entrepreneurs drive prosperity. Becoming an entrepreneur is challenging when there are barriers to opportunity, equity, and access to capital and networks… Belize Entrepreneurship Fest is a unique opportunity to provide small business owners with training and tools to meet these challenges effectively, grow their businesses, and ensure their creativity can secure sustainable incomes.”

Added BELTRAIDE EXPORTBelize manager Shahera McKoy, “The development of entrepreneurial activities is a fundamental component of BELTRAIDE’s mandate. At the core of Belize’s socio-economic development is the support and empowerment of our entrepreneurs. They ideate, persevere, and innovate to transform not only our economy but also the lives of our Belizean people.”

Washington estimates it has contributed US$62.8 million in direct and indirect economic development assistance to Belize across sectors since 2020.

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