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Sep 17, 2015

Ground Broken for G.O.B’s First Green Building

Ground was broken today for a green building for which BELTRAIDE is partnering with the University of Belize. B.E.I.-Two, as it is called, is being built at the university’s Belize City campus to strengthen services for innovation and business development. That aside the new facility will also host two technical units of BELTRAIDE. Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service, better known as BELTRAIDE, is an arm of the government that focuses on the success of trade in Belize primarily through entrepreneurship and innovation. Over the years, it has installed several programs to assist citizens with obtaining adequate skills to thrive in the workforce. But now, the organization is putting another program in place and today, along with the University of Belize, broke ground for the construction of a new facility, Belize Enterprise and Innovation Institute.

 

Harrison Pilgrim

Harrison Pilgrim, Chairman, Board of Trustees, UB

“The decision that today promises to change the landscape of this campus and change the lives and livelihood of thousands of Belizean youth. The decision to partner with BELTRAIDE and the UB Board’s resolve to make this dream a reality was no mean feat…the naysayers notwithstanding. And today’s reality can become the prototype employed to build synergistic relationship between the university and other entities.”

 

Michael Singh, C.E.O., Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotion, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection

“I want to reach out today to the faculty and staff of UB to encourage you to really embrace what we are doing today. I know sometimes it might be seen as there is an alien coming on your campus. We are not an alien, we are a partner. And in reality we are going to be a center to welcome the students, to welcome the faculty. We need people to help us with instructing…and when I say instructing, I mean we need you to come in there and use some of the academic knowledge you have in the school of business to impart on those entrepreneurs that are coming.”

 

B.E.I.-Two as it is referred to, will be a green building—the first of its kind in the country—and will be constructed on UB’s Faculty of Management and Social Science Campus in West Landivar, Belize City. According to C.E.O. in the Ministry of Trade, Investment Promotions, Private Sector Development and Consumer Protection, Michael Singh, the hope is that students will also tap into the services offered to become entrepreneurs rather than employees.

 

Michael Singh

Michael Singh

“By no means are we coming and taking any part of the campus; we are actually bringing to the campus. The land and everything is fully owned by UB, but the building is a building that we are putting for specific purpose for us to start diversifying the offering of the university and diversifying our offering so that we can use some of the resources of the university to deliver what we need to deliver. So it is a very powerful thing that we are doing today. To me it is a signal; it’s a first step, but it is definitely not the last step because the vision is for us to move much further than this. And to make sure that there are many other people, other than these two entrepreneurs sitting in the audience, that will be here building small businesses that will grow into being big businesses so that we have more employers in this country.”

 

The building will serve as the headquarters for two technical units of BELTRAIDE—EXPORT-Belize and Small Business Development Center-Belize – that will connect global opportunities for businesses and creating more small businesses.

 

Lejia Melanie Gideon

Lejia Melanie Gideon, GM, Enterprise and Innovation, BELTRAIDE

“The whole reason we are here again is because SBDC-Belize has done such a wonderful job in its two and half years that it was important that it was only imperative that we expanded the function, the facility that they can provide. But I haven’t forgotten the other secret weapon I have under my belt, which is EXPORT-Belize, which is a sister unit to SBDC. And they deal specifically with first time exporters—those individuals who think they want to export and they think they got it—and existing exporters.”

 

Final designs are being done and, within a month, construction is expected to commence for completion in eight months. Duane Moody for News Five.

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