Ariel Matthews (NYLO Intern)
Francis Vidal, sole provider for his family as his wife is disabled, hopes to start a nationwide landscaping business. Candice Lashley plans to purchase equipment for her small catering business. These dreams were possible as these two were recipients at the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services grant distribution ceremony for the Sowing Empowerment through Entrepreneurial Development (SEED) programme at its Port of Spain headquarters today. The Ministry’s website says, “Through the SEED programme, individuals are given access to tools, equipment and material to start or expand a mini/micro enterprise. These individuals are then supported through a multi-pronged system which provides business training, education and mentorship that maximizes their potential for success.”
Of the 19 from all over Trinidad listed to receive this grant, ten people were present to receive their grants. Grants were given for use in welding, flag construction and decoration, agriculture, catering, internet café, mini-mart and photography among others. The recipients have already completed the mandatory entrepreneurial training and development in cash management, record keeping, customer service excellence, marketing and costing and pricing.
The recipients viewed the grants as a blessing. “I am so happy for this opportunity. It would’ve been almost impossible to get equipment without this grant,” said Lashley. Vidal followed with, “This is the help I needed to create a better life for my family.”
Minister Crichlow-Cockburn encouraged, “I urge you to make very good use of this opportunity and ensure that it takes you along a path which leads to sustainable employment, income generation which improves your quality of life, that of your families and indeed all of Trinidad and Tobago.”