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02 Jul / 2004 To create, develop and consolidate small businesses:

FIRST STEPS TAKEN TO IMPLEMENT “PROSPERITY FUND” ON HONDURAN CARIBBEAN

Nearly 330 applications have been received from Omoa, Tela, La Ceiba, Trujillo, Guanaja and Utila for consideration in the pre-selection phase

In an effort to encourage small business growth and development along the Honduran Caribbean coast, the Business Promotion Program – also known as the Prosperity Fund – offers seed capital to small companies setting up business in the tourism industry in and around Omoa, Tela, La Ceiba, Trujillo, Guanaja and Utila.The fund is run by the Honduran Institute of Tourism through its Sustainable Coastal Tourism Project, with funding from the World Bank.

The fund is managed by CHF International, an organization with extensive experience in the management of programs, portfolios and loans, as well as technical and financial assistance.Beneficiaries of the fund may include individual merchants, micro- and small companies, NGOs, the public sector and indigenous and non-indigenous communities, as long as they operate within the program’s target municipalities.However, preference will be given to small companies and indigenous and non-indigenous communities whose projects that meet certain requirements, such as having high aggregated value, multiple partners, adequate capacity and official legal standing.

Of the 329 applications submitted, 19 are from Omoa, 65 from Tela, 24 from La Ceiba, 105 from Trujillo, 10 from Utila and 106 from Guanaja.They will be evaluated by a committee consisting of one representative each from the Honduran Institute of Tourism, the Sustainable Coastal Tourism Project, CHF International, the National Chamber of Tourism and the Economy Ministry.

Beneficiaries will be expected to contribute 33% in the case of innovative pilot projects that qualify as micro- or small businesses, and 23% in the case of innovative pilot projects launched by indigenous communities involving micro- and small businesses, NGOs or the public sector.

Ineligible for the program are academic research projects and proposals that threaten the environment, health, infrastructure or security.


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