Information Minister Melford Nicholas has spoken out in defense of the newly established Entrepreneurship Development Programme (EDP). The programme, which is the brainchild of the Prime Minister Gaston Browne, was implemented to provide entrepreneurs with access to affordable funding, enabling them to deliver quality goods and services to customers and to create a supportive business environment, empowering entrepreneurs to be successful and contribute to national economic development. According to Nicholas, since its inception, the EDP has been functioning. “I don’t know what the experiences are, to be honest, but I think since the Entrepreneurship Development Programme has been introduced, it has borne some fruit. There has been a number of recommendations that have come back to the Cabinet for approval and, without exception, I think they have all been given the green light from Cabinet,” he said. Nicholas, while speaking at the post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday, called on the relevant authorities to be a bit more transparent in communicating with persons during that application process. “I may use this opportunity to publicly appeal to the persons involved, Mr Garfield Joseph and others, whether or not they have a closed loop. In terms of whenever projects are not favourably considered, how those persons are engaged or disengaged, such that the perception that it is not an endless loop, but there have been persons that have gotten approval and have come forward to Cabinet to be ratified and those have been done.” To apply for funding under the EDP, an applicant must complete the application form and submit it electronically or by hand to the EDP Unit at the Antigua Barbuda Investment Authority. The application form must be completed by the applicant or an authorised representative of the applicant. Application forms and additional information can be found on HYPERLINK “http://www.antiguabarbudaedp.com” www.antiguabarbudaedp.com
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