The Ministry of Economic Affairs, in cooperation with the local chambers of commerce and locally operating banks, improves the availability of capital to entrepreneurs on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba through microfinance.
Microfinance means coaching and credit up to 44,000 dollars (35,000 Euro). Microfinance promotes business and helps to improve the quality of entrepreneurship. Since January 2012, banks in the Caribbean Netherlands have been able to grant their microcredit loans under the government-guaranteed scheme for loans to small- and medium-sized enterprises (BMKB).
The banks taking part in this initiative ultimately decide whether or not the credit will be granted, in the same way as normal credit. So it is very important that you as (new) entrepreneur should be well prepared before you apply for such credit. The Chamber of Commerce can help you in this respect.
How to apply
Entrepreneurs who wish to be considered for microfinance may apply to the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber of Commerce will provide consultancy and coaching. The consultancy component is the programme followed by the entrepreneur before starting up their business. Coaching starts after the start-up of the business. Coaching is partially provided by the Chamber of Commerce and partially outsourced to external agencies, with the Chamber of Commerce playing a mediating role.
More information is available on the website of the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce. On St. Eustatius and Saba, preparations are under way to realise such a structure. Further details on this will soon be published on the websites of those chambers and also on the site of the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands.