GIS - 15 August, 2019: A ‘Business to Business Meeting’, aiming to provide a platform to enable women entrepreneurs to interact and develop business relationships with potential buyers, was held yesterday, at the Caudan Arts Centre, in Port Louis. Potential buyers present included representatives from enterprises, supermarkets, Ministries, parastatals bodies and hotels.
The event, organised at the initiative of the National Women Entrepreneur Council (NWEC), saw the participation of some 70 women entrepreneurs. It is in line with the NWEC’s mandate to accelerate successful development of start-ups and strengthen existing businesses through an array of business development services.
The objectives of the meeting were to help increase the visibility of women-owned businesses, better showcase quality of locally made products, and enable women entrepreneurs to contract orders to increase sales and grow their business.
In her address, the Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Minister of Gender Equality, Child Development and Family Welfare, Mrs Fazila Jeewa-Daureeawoo, recalled the several measures that Government has put in place to contribute to the economic emancipation of women as well as to encourage them in their development and growth.
One of the latest schemes for women entrepreneurs introduced, the Vice-Prime Minister indicated, pertains to the grant of financial assistance by the Development Bank of Mauritius by way of no guarantee loans up to a ceiling of Rs 500 000 at a fixed interest rate of 3% to assist women to start a business.
Government, Mrs Jeewa-Daureeawoo further stressed, will continue to cater for women’s emancipation by putting in place other new facilities and by responding to the changing needs of Small and Medium Enterprises in a proactive manner. She lauded women entrepreneurs for their contribution to the SME sector and urged more women to develop their creative potential and to avail themselves of the different schemes and incentives put in place for start-ups and to facilitate their businesses.
On that score, the Vice-Prime Minister spoke of the Back-to-Work Programme which has as objectives to help women above the age of 30 years to integrate the labour market by undergoing a training programme. After the training, the participants benefit from placement in private enterprises or with individual employers and may be thereafter employed, she added.
The Back-to-Work Programme, the Vice-Prime Minister indicated, is a successful one as around 54% of women have secured a job. Thus, she made an appeal to unemployed women to take advantage of this programme so as to become independent and self-sufficient and also contribute to the economy of Mauritius.
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