12 small businesses to benefit from Green Fund this year

The Small Business Bureau (SBB) is taking applications for the Green Business Technology Fund which will see businesses benefitting from a million dollars in grant funding.

Chief Executive Officer of the SBB Shazim Ibrahim, while speaking with the Department of Public Information (DPI) on Tuesday noted that the fund started in 2019. So far, he said, more than 30 businesses have benefitted.

He noted that the fund was created to assist in developing groundbreaking solutions for today’s environmental challenges.

“What they would do is submit a proposal and they would pitch that idea to a group of judges. It would be about how environmentally friendly their business is, and any type of process improvement that shows some type of technology was used to make their business easier. They can be able to access grant funding up to 1 million dollars,” he stated.

For access to the fund, applicants must be registered clients of the small business bureau, making less than 60 million dollars in annual turnover, less than 20 million dollars in business assets, and with less than 25 employees.

He noted that this year, the bureau is looking to attract persons from a wider cross-section of businesses.

For example, in smart waste management systems, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, water conservation technology, air quality monitoring and improvement, sustainable transportation, smart traffic management, eco-friendly building materials and other areas.

“You can come up with any idea, remember this is a competition, we are only doing twelve grants for this year at 1 million dollars each, so you will have to make sure that your idea is a niche and meets environmental standards, and aside from submitting an actual proposal, you will have to do a pitch in front of a panel of judges from different agencies,” Ibrahim stated.

He is also encouraging people to make use of this opportunity.

“Remember, you are receiving a grant to help you with this business. However, when this business starts, 100 per cent of the proceeds go to you. [You] are starting an innovative business that will help the environment…the community…You will be receiving rewards and profits as long as this business kicks off,” he stated.

Clients of the SBB can submit their detailed business proposals to the SBB Head Office Lot 1, La Penitence or any one of the help desks in the various regions on or before July 19.

Short-listed applicants will pitch their innovative ideas to a panel of judges who will select the final 12 to benefit from funding to up to a million dollars.