PUM assists businesses

Country coordinator Marja Hendriksen of “Programma Uitzending Managers,” (ManagerDeployment Programme-PUM) visited St. Eustatius and Saba from January 8 till January 16. After her introductory visit in September last year, this was her second visit to the islands. This reports The Daily Herald.

Assisted by PUM’s local representative Koos Sneek, she held meetings with a number of small business owners, as well as non-profit organisations, in order to explain about the possibilities to make use of PUM’s pool of more than 3,000 senior experts, who all are offering their advice free of charge. This advice can be given in almost any area, from tourism to agriculture and fisheries, from financial management to IT.

Her visit last year had already led to concrete requests for advice from both islands. The first PUM project with Golden Era Hotel on Statia in the meantime has been successfully completed. Her recent visit has already resulted in a number of new requests.

From the discussions with the business owners and NGOs, it became clear that there is a need for professional assistance to improve the operations or performance of businesses. In most, if not all cases, the main obstacle to acquiring expert advice for small businesses is the cost factor. The cost, which the business incurs when making use of PUM advice, is limited to room and board of the expert for a period of maximum two weeks, which brings it within reach of the small and medium enterprise sector.

Business owners, who would like to have more information about the use of PUM experts, can always contact the Chamber of Commerce St. Eustatius and Saba at telephone 318-3232 or email coc.statia@gmail.com.

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