The National Entrepreneurship Development Company (NEDCO) offers essential support for small and micro enterprises in Trinidad and Tobago. The state-owned organization, created in 2002, helps anyone over the age of 18 create or expand a small business.
Getting small businesses up and running and ensuring their long-term success is crucial for the government’s drive to promote people-centered development. Dr. Natasha Ramkissoon, Chairman, explains, “As Trinidad and Tobago focuses on a diversifying the economy, NEDCO sees a need to provide support services to entrepreneurs who will help develop many sectors. We want to make more people aware of the potential of SMEs, including in rural areas, and of the support NEDCO provides. SMEs can not only boost Trinidad and Tobago’s GDP but also serve as a catalyst for reducing unemployment and poverty.”
Wide range of services
NEDCO’s services include everything from consulting and training to business-facilitation, marketing advice and financing support. NEDCO’s YES! (Youth Entrepreneurial Success) program focuses on the next generation of entrepreneurs. NEDCO partners with the University of the West Indies and is open to more partnerships and knowledge-sharing with regional and international institutions.
NEDCO encourages entrepreneurs to start small businesses that make the most of indigenous resources and native talents in non-traditional areas. The organization’s support is holistic, aimed at empowering entrepreneurs and not just enterprises.
To offer a supportive environment where business ideas can be translated into commercially viable enterprises, NEDCO launched the Entrepreneurial Training Institute and Incubation Center (ETIIC). With locations in Barataria, San Fernando, Chaguanas and Scarborough Tobago, ETIIC provides Internet access, training courses, assistance in product development and marketing, secretarial services and more. Dr. Ramkissoon says, “We want NEDCO to be a true one-stop shop for entrepreneurial support services. Our goal is to create a new entrepreneurial generation in Trinidad and Tobago.”