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BELFund Reports Positive Response To Outreach To Help Unemployed & Self-Employed Persons

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Officials of the James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund (BELfund) are expressing optimism at the significant level of uptake surrounding two recently held community outreach initiatives.
In a bid to further assist unemployed and self-employed persons, the services of the government-supported lending institution were brought directly to residents of the communities of Anse-La-Raye on the west coast and Babonneau on the northeast coast in January and early February respectively.
“The outreach has been very successful. We have seen Saint Lucians coming out in large numbers and are very interested in starting up and getting the assistance from BELFUND. Thus far, we have conducted about 92 first interviews on the spot in the communities and we look forward to going out to the other communities in the near future,” remarked BELfund’s Business Support Officer in Charge of Marketing Denise Mauricette.
Designed to cater to every segment of the population, the BELfund has implemented a blended approach that incorporates direct marketing where potential customers are encouraged to reach out to the institution via social media platforms like Facebook and Instragram.
Meantime, BELfund’s Acting General Manager Amanda Delima is encouraging interested persons to see the process through to completion. Many respondents she says are not returning for that vital final interview that will secure loan approval.
“Based on some of the requirement, I believe some of the requirements may still be a little too strict for them so they are unable to come back for a second interview. The second interview is what would seal the deal and to say whether or not they would actually get the loan approved and they are not returning and they need to let us know if it’s an issue with the guarantors like what we are getting from most of them, let us know so that we can see, in relation to the amount that they require, what can be done.”
BELfund was founded in 2000 as a government statutory body and falls under the auspices of the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment.
Its mandate is to assist unemployed and self-employed individuals in core business areas and in accessing business loans, which they typically would not qualify for from traditional lending institutions.
BELfund offers loans on generous concessionary rates on amounts as low as five hundred dollars ($500.00), to a maximum of thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00). Those loans must be for business purposes only.
No direct cash is handed out to clients but rather payments are made to suppliers to facilitate business start-up and continuity.
SOURCE: Ministry of Equity, Social Justice & Empowerment 
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