Small businesses get free advice

| 12/02/2019
CNS Local Life
Students, business owners and programme partners (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

(CNS Local Life):Owners of small business will once again be able to receive free and confidential advice to solve their business problems through the Student Consulting Programme, which kicked off its 11th year, Wednesday, 6 February. Under this initiative, small businesses are partnered with upper-level business students of the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI).

The 10-week programme is a collaboration between the Ministry of Commerce, UCCI and Cayman National Bank (CNB). This year, 18 students, including one in Cayman Brac, and five small businesses will participate in the programme, stated a government press release. Students will work to provide advice to business owners to help them solve a particular problem or reach a specific goal.

“Small business are a vital part of our local economy and ensuring small business owners receive the support they need is one of the most important priorities for my ministry,” said Minister for Commerce Joseph Hew in the press release. “This programme is just one way in which the ministry is working to encourage and develop businesses.”

UCCI programme coordinator, Annette Murphy, said it benefits all parties. “The reason this programme is so successful is that it everyone involves takes away something valuable,” she said. “Business owners gain free consultation and are able to move their company forward, and students get to put their knowledge to practice.”

This year also marks a milestone for the programme, as a non-profit organisation, Literacy is for Everyone (LIFE), is participating for the first time.

“The civil society sector provides community enhancement that helps us become a well-rounded society and help grow the economy,” said Marilyn Conolly, LIFE executive director. “By helping a charity grow, these students are helping issues that impact our community.

“Our charity is ready to grow to be a bigger, more vibrant charity that can solve this problem of illiteracy, and we hope that by participating in the programme we can become a lot more efficient in how we deliver our services.”

Gueva Richards, a student participating this year, said she is excited to get started. “I hope to gain more insight into what it takes holistically to form and operate a business to be prosperous. This programme is beneficial because it helps take what we are learning and translate into the working world,” she said.  

The lessons learned and progress made by both students and business owners is what drives CNB to continue to support the programme, the bank said in the press release.

“At CNB we value the opportunity to help our community grow,” said Lisha Ferguson, CNB marketing assistant. “We are particularly fond of this programme because it’s supporting small businesses and is focussed on our young people’s education.”

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Category: Local Business

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