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Sep 23, 2022

Ten Thousand Dollars to Five Entrepreneurs from B.N.E. Charitable Trust

Five small business owners will be receiving ten thousand dollars each in seed funding from the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust.  It is a sizeable amount of money being granted to the second cohort of B.N.E. Charitable Fund’s Dare to Dream Initiative. Hundreds of entrepreneurs from the six districts will first participate in an Entrepreneurship and Innovative Lab Program. From the trainees, five participants will be selected to receive the ten thousand dollars. News Five’s Paul Lopez reports.


Paul Lopez, Reporting

Entrepreneurs from across the country are getting an opportunity to compete for much needed seed funding from the Belize Natural Energy Charitable Trust.  Linsburgh Smith, the owner of Smith’s Natural Blend, is among the businesses competing for the funds. We spoke with him at BNE Charitable Trust’s Entrepreneurship and Innovative Lab Program at the Hub Resource Center in Belize City.


Lindburgh Smith

Lindburgh Smith, Owner, Smith’s Natural Blend

“I think some of the take away is the capacity for growth and two the opportunities for finance to expand what is the next step. For me I am very comfortable and I don’t feat the competition because I know my product. I know the quality of what I am producing and my product is really solving a need and so I realize because I do my research there is no need to fear.”


The Entrepreneurship and Innovative Lab Program will be taken to all six districts. During the course, participants will learn key business lessons that will ensure the longevity of their brands. The Belize Institute for Service Excellence Leadership and Research has partnered with the Trust to train these business owners.


Sherlete Neal

Sherlete Neal, Director, BISELR

“Today we will be working through the entire business plan, today and tomorrow and helping business to understand a little better, to craft their vision and their mission, to look at their marketing and what their target audience. And, a most important question we had them answer this morning is why, why are they doing this? A lot of them the obvious reason is to make some money but that is not your real why, the bigger picture, five years from now, what is it that your business seeks to do, where do you see yourself.”

Of the total candidates, twenty- five participants will be selected to pitch their business ideas to a B.N.E. shark tank-style panel. The Trust will award five winners ten thousand dollars each in seed funding.


Albert Garcia

Albert Garcia, Chairman, B.N.E. Charitable Trust

“It is going to be sort of shark tank style whereby they will pitch their idea to a panel. We are going to look at it, based on the point system and everything and they are going to be awarded seed capital, ten thousand dollars. Separate from that there is still the business training that everyone gets at no cost whatsoever. So, you will find that it is designed that people will walk away with something that will impact them and allow them to grow. And for us it is looking at how they grow, which will impact the community and in turn we believe can impact our country.”


In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister John Briceño noted that MSME’s will be the driving force behind an extensive surge in economic expansion and prosperity. These small business owners are contributors toward that end.


Sherlete Neal

“Entrepreneurship is alive and well in Belize, and what I see is that entrepreneurial spirit. I believe it is very important that we try to build that spirit, to help people to not lose that faith, to understand that it is going to be a challenge, to provide that support. One of the things we are trying to enforce today is to help people to understand that sometimes you are going o have to start where you are. And, you might not have all the resources and all the money, but don’t let that be a hindrance in the beginning. Yes, you need money to move forward, but is there somewhere you can start? But, I believe entrepreneurship is alive and well.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Paul Lopez

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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