Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2022. 6:40 p.m. CST.
By Aaron Humes: Six small businesses in Belize City, Dangriga and Orange Walk Town were selected from 29 small business owners who participated in a workshop organized by the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) and funded by the US Embassy .
At a closing ceremony today in Belmopan, the winners were named Tamarie Rocke, owner of Refillery Co. in Belize City, Andrea Castaneda of Lokok’ Teep of Orange Walk and Rose Parks of Granny Ivy’s Herbal Soaps of Dangriga . The finalists were Randi Samuda from Belize City’s RKS Customs, Maria Solia Huertas from Apilife All in Bees of Orange Walk, and Rasheed Arzu from Storyteller Media in Dangriga.
Aspiring entrepreneurs as part of the BELTRAIDE/US Embassy Belize Entrepreneurship Fest received professional training, resources, mentorship and a public platform for Belizean entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Business and marketing experts provided tools and best practices to overcome the challenges of creating, launching and sustaining profitable business plans. Entrepreneurs also participated in a business pitch competition.
U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Leyla Moses-Ones said, “Entrepreneurs are the engine of 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, growing their businesses and ensuring their creativity can guarantee sustainable incomes.
Shahera McKoy, Director of BELTRAIDE EXPORTBelize, added: “Developing entrepreneurial activities is a fundamental part of BELTRAIDE’s mandate. At the heart of Belize’s socio-economic development is supporting and empowering our entrepreneurs. They invent, persevere and innovate to transform not only our economy, but also the lives of our Belizean people.
Washington estimates that it has provided US$62.8 million in direct and indirect assistance to Belize’s economic development across all sectors since 2020.
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