Secretary of Finance and the Economy Joel Jack has underscored the Tobago House of Assembly’s commitment to assisting the island’s entrepreneurs.
Jack did so at the post-executive council media briefing on Wednesday as he highlighted the work of young entrepreneurs Shanice Charles and Shenee Winchester, owners of Dear Diets Enterprises.
The company, which was launched last year, produces a breakfast cereal made from dasheen. It can be found on the shelves at Viewport Supermarket, Scarborough and RT Morshead supermarket, Buccoo Road.
Jack said the division is seeking opportunities for the women to increase their production, locally and regionally.
The division, he added, intends to employ a more nuanced approach to supporting micro, small and medium enterprises.
“In this regard, focus will be placed on marketing support for Tobago’s products, and following meetings with the supermarket owners in March, we are looking to give Tobago’s products some prominence at our supermarkets.”
Jack told reporters he was impressed with the Dear Diets owners' innovativeness and quickly commissioned a committee with the division to provide technical assistance and support.
“We view this Tobago product as our own, and one that we can be proud of.”
Jack said the division has since assisted by providing business planning and guidance through its Strategic Business Support Unit. He added the division also established agreements with local producers to ensure a consistent supply of quality dasheen stock.
Jack said the division also networked with the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute to ensure the entrepreneurs were able to boost production in a fairly short time.
The entrepreneurs, he said, received guidance on the equipment they needed to ensure enhanced product capacity and certification.
“I wish to commend these young ladies for their drive and commitment. It is envisioned that by the end of 2021, Cereaously Grounded Cereal will secure an established presence at retail outlets in both Trinidad and Tobago,” he said.
Jack urged young entrepreneurs to find opportunities to showcase their offerings during the pandemic.
He also said the division is preparing for the 2021 Trade and Investment Convention from August 25-29.
“We already have a number of success stories coming out of our previous missions.”