THE Ministry of Trade (MTI) along with the Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) launched the second cohort of the Scale Up TT programme which would see a group of businesses conduct an eight-week programme to help businesses involved, grow through focusing on customer service, capacity and capital.
In a feature address at the launch on Monday, minister Paula Gopee-Scoon said the partnership was an indication of the Government’s commitment to developing relationships between the public and private sector.
“It is well-known that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs ) are engines of economic growth in our country, accounting for 28 per cent of GDP, and 19 per cent of all registered businesses.
"They however face several challenges, including limited access to finance, gaps in business training and knowledge of available resources and support, difficulties in accessing regional and international markets and meeting international standards,” she said.
She added that the National Development Strategy 2016-2030, Vision 2030 and the Roadmap to Recovery all highlight the need to build globally competitive businesses in a supportive ecosystem.
Scale up TT was first launched in June, when 11 businesses involved in manufacturing, ago-processing, information, communications technology and service were involved. Gopee-Scoon said the programme has seen success internationally since its launch globally in 2010. She added that the first cohort of businesses had similar success.
“The immediate impact of this pilot programme was remarkable. Despite the economic climate on account of covid19, several of the companies experienced between 25 to 75 per cent growth in revenue, 25 to 80 per cent growth in expert and additional jobs were created,” Gopee-Scoon said.
In a question and answer section, CEO of Entrepreneurship Policy Advisors, the company that has launched Scale Up projects in Canada, Milwaukee and Guatemala, said the project is hoped to begin in 2022 and will have between ten and 15 businesses in its new cohort.
"That may sound like a small number to some but the point is to leverage the growth of the 11 companies in cohort one and the companies in cohort two and so on. These actually build up, they accumulate and accelerate and have a multiplier effect."
Executive director of UTC Nigel Edwards said entrepreneurship is vital to TT’s economic advancement and the UTC along with the ministry intends to help each business reach its fullest potential.
“Our country is filled with brilliant talent and creative minds. We are also seeing the resilience of our businesses who are ensuring their survival in the most trying of circumstances. Let us now together ensure that the talent and creativity that we all see can benefit from being paired with the knowledge and skill to create the future growth stories that we all know are there,” he said.