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Local Economic Development

Local Economic Development

At Atlantic, we continue to support programmes in our home community, which are aimed at improving livelihoods and fostering socio-economic growth in the long term. This can be best achieved by equipping our community stakeholders with the relevant resources via which they can take greater ownership of community development.

Atlantic/IDB Local Economic Development (LED) Programme

Atlantic, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and the Point Fortin Borough Corporation, has championed the development of a Local Economic Development (LED) Programme, which will focus on building capacity and creating development opportunities in the south-west peninsula.

The project, which is the first of its kind in the Caribbean, is aimed at creating a sustainable framework to improve livelihoods and to diversify economic capabilities of regions with extractive industries. It specifically targets the six (6) communities in the south-west peninsula – Point Fortin, La Brea, Chatham, Buenos Ayres, Cedros and Icacos.

Following consultation with key stakeholders in the borough, work is progressing in four (4) priority areas:

Institutional capacity building – The focus is on strengthening the local bodies such as the Point Fortin Borough Corporation and assisting them in building capacity to enable them to implement and manage the LED project and fulfil its aims. This will facilitate greater ownership from within the community and includes training of key community stakeholders, including civil society groups, local government officials, key business owners, representatives from the various Ministries, fishing associations and schools representatives.

Development of micro, small and medium enterprises – The framework aims to explore opportunities in the non-energy sectors, in areas such as tourism, agriculture and fishing for example. The focus will be on helping in the identification of market opportunities and linkages, and not on infrastructural support. Participants have benefitted from training workshops in micro-financing, business and financial management, specialty and quality products, as well as assistance and support in the development of business plans for their small businesses.

Human development, specifically youth development – The LED will address the needs of marginalised, at-risk youth in the community, exploring avenues which can bolster their capacity, and support their development to facilitate employment.

Learning and communication – The aim is that the LED framework can be applied to other communities, so there is also a focus on supporting knowledge transfer to and among key stakeholders to enable sharing of the Point Fortin LED model with other communities.

The programme is being executed by the Trade and Economic Development Unit of the University of the West Indies on behalf of Atlantic and the IDB.

Related link:
• South West Local Economic Development (LED)
Inter-American Development Bank


The Loan for Enterprise and Network Development (LEND) Agency

In support of the Local Economic Development (LED) Programme, Atlantic established the Loan for Enterprise and Network Development (LEND) Agency, which officially opened its doors in December 2014.

Located in Cedros, the primary objective of the LEND Agency is to support the start-up and expansion of sustainable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurs interested in business opportunities not related to the traditional oil and gas sector.

Additionally, LEND is specifically targeted towards MSMEs in communities in the south-western region of Trinidad, including Point Fortin, La Brea, Chatham, Buenos Ayres, Cedros and Icacos, and offers credit facilities for qualifying borrowers. Persons who have qualified for financing from the LEND Agency have so far come from sectors such as retail, agriculture, manufacturing and fishing.