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Mar 4, 2016

C.E.O. Judith Alpuche Explains BA1 Project Process

Judith Alpuche

The symbolic handing over ceremony held today signals the success of stage one of the project, which is being carried out by the Government of Belize through the Women’s Department, the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE). In collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Population Fund and SICA, a total of six hundred and eighty thousand Belize dollars was issued to the women. But the initiative started from last year where over three hundred women were trained in micro-enterprise development and life skills.

 

Judith Alpuche, C.E.O., Ministry of Human Development

“The project focuses on six cluster areas from all over the country so we had women coming these six cluster areas. And these women went through these trainings; they looked at their business plans, they helped them to develop family life plans, which are just as important and just as much an empowerment piece also. And out of that, we have two hundred and forty women who received seed capital, who received grants to either start their businesses or to improve existing small businesses, micro businesses that they had. So this event is really celebrating that; really bringing all the partners together because it was quite an achievement in terms of all the moving parts, all the work that the women had to put in.”

 

Duane Moody

“So this started from last year and they are just receiving a grant?”

 

Judith Alpuche

“Yes, it was very much a process and really they have received the grants earlier this year.”

 

Duane Moody

“Now will there be any follow-up with these persons to ensure that their business remains successful because at the end of the day, while they do get that startup capital that is pivotal, there is also longevity?”

 

Judith Alpuche

“Right and BELTRAIDE will provide that follow-up and that’s why we chose to partner with them because they have that expertise. I think it is excellent because we’ve learnt so many lessons. It is not a normal partnership between social services and the ministry of investment and BELTRAIDE as an entity, but I think it is a very necessary one because if we are going to deal with the root causes of social issues, we have to deal with both having the social and economic sectors coming together and I think this project is a good example of that.”

 

The project has taken place in seven countries in which over three thousand five hundred women, who were victims or at risk of violence, femicide and trafficking in persons, have been awarded grants to either start or enhance their small businesses.

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