Published On: Sun, Nov 28th, 2021

Small Business Academy awards participants at ceremony

GREAT BAY — Daniel Gumbs was the 500th candidate to receive a loan from Qredits as a young entrepreneur at the closing ceremonies of the Small Business Academy on Friday evening. Gumbs, who is doing a reverse osmosis business is competing among the two other major companies on the island, says that he remains focus in his quest for perfection.

Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs in her address spoke of the impact of the pandemic to the island and the world. Jacobs who was on the media daily called on the people to reflect on what they wanted to do since they were on lock down.

“I was very happy when I went to the launching of the Small Business Academy when I saw that there were younger and older entrepreneurs making use of the opportunity,” she said. She called on them to follow their dreams and mentioned that she was proud of the program and opportunities being offered.

“She described the program as a “joint collaborative effort” and challenged the young business persons to ensure that their businesses are successful not only for St. Maarten but also to expand to e-commerce.

Chief Executive Officer of Qredits Elwin Groeneveldt said that he was proud of the progress made by the local office. The organization started one week before the hurricanes of 2017 and had to close the doors one week after. However, one month later after the hurricanes, they started with the recovery loans.

“It was really a great success and we have done way better than the World Bank” he said in jest, in order to recover. He pointed that with only a staff of five persons they were able to dispense some 500 loans in that time. He mentioned that it was his dream was to have persons educated through the Small Business Academy and help them to write a good business plan which will help persons to be a good entrepreneur.

He congratulated the 500th recipient Daniel Gumbs who is producing water through the reverse osmosis process and thanked the young business persons for choosing disciplines outside of the tourism industry.

Finance Minister Artwell Irion in presenting the Small Business Academy awards said that preparation is already being made for 2022. He congratulated all the persons who had participated in the program and thanked Qredits and the local chapter for their work they have done on this project.

Photos by Andrew Bishop.