Doing business on Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba
Do you want your company to spread its wings in Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba? In that case you will need finance. The following regulations may be of some assistance.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs in cooperation with the local chambers of commerce and locally operating banks is about to improve the availability of capital to entrepreneurs on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba by means of microfinance. Microfinance means coaching and credit up to 44,000 dollars (35,000 Euros). Microfinance promotes business enterprise and helps to improve the quality of entrepreneurship. Since January 2012 banks in the Caribbean Netherlands have been able to place their microcredit loans under the government guaranteed scheme for loans to small and medium-sized enterprises (BMKB). The banks taking part in this initiative ultimately decide whether or not the credit will be granted, in the same way as normal credit. So it is very important that you as (new) entrepreneur should be well prepared before you apply for such credit. The Chamber of Commerce can help you in this regard.
Entrepreneurs who want to be considered for microfinance may apply to the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce. The consultancy component is the programme followed by the entrepreneur before the business is started up and will take place mainly in groups. The coaching component is the programme followed after the business has started up and will take place on an individual basis. Coaching is partially provided by the Chamber of Commerce and partially outsourced to external agencies, with the Chamber of Commerce playing a mediating role. More information is available on the Bonaire Chamber of Commerce website. On St. Eustatius and Saba, preparations are under way to realise such a structure. Further details on this will soon be published on the websites of those chambers and also on the site of the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands.
Government guaranteed scheme for loans to SMEs (BMKB)
Entrepreneurs who want to start business in Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba can take advantage of the SME government guaranteed loan scheme (BMKB). You can use this scheme if you want to take out a loan but do not have sufficient collateral to offer to the bank. The bank will be more willing to provide a loan if that loan is partially guaranteed by the government. The government guarantees up to 1 million Euros through the BMKB. Interested? In that case contact Giro, RBTT or MCB Bonaire in the Caribbean Netherlands. More information about BMKB (in Dutch)
You want to attract venture capital so you can expand your business to Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba. This will strengthen your financial base and improve your chances of attracting foreign investment. Financiers are reluctant to lend however; often they think the risk is too great. This is where the Growth Facility scheme can help you. You can turn to your bank or venture capital company in the Caribbean Netherlands. At present there still no local banks or venture capital companies taking part in the Growth Facility. More information (in Dutch)
Credit Guarantee Scheme (GO)
You want to extend your business to Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba and you need a loan for that purpose. Through the GO scheme the government guarantees up to 25 million Euros. Since the government guarantees part of the loan, the banks will be more willing to grant it. You can turn to your bank in the Caribbean Netherlands. At present there are still no local banks taking part in the GO. More information: see below (in Dutch)
Curative Care Credit Guarantee Scheme (GO Cure)
If your company has a care institution which has building plans in Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba, you will need a loan. Through the GO Cure the government provides guarantees for loans ranging from 1,5 to 50 million Euros. Since the government is guaranteeing part of the loan, the bank will be more willing to grant it. You can turn to your bank in the Caribbean Netherlands. At present there are still no local banks taking part in GO Cure. More information: see below.
Other interesting possibilities
There are several other possibilities which may be of interest to you, most hyperlinks refer to information in Dutch.
Innovation Performance Contracts (IPC): see below
The IPC scheme targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are seeking to innovate collectively in the Netherlands, Bonaire, St. Eustatius or Saba. Long term innovation projects are executed under the supervision of an SME association, acting as a consortium leader for the enterprises. The key concepts are cooperation and knowledge transfer.
The scheme also offers SME associations financial support to explore (international) cooperation possibilities. The Exploration of cooperation program allows the consortium leader to explore opportunities for establishing consortia between SMEs from various branches in the Netherlands. The Exploration of international cooperation program allows Dutch SME associations to cooperate with SME associations abroad.
You have an innovative idea. You see opportunities for a new product in the market. You have the knowledge, vision and ambition, but you lack the financial clout.
NL EVD International
The government organisation providing inspiration and support to entrepreneurs in the realisation of their international ambitions.
Chamber of Commerce
National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands
The government organisation in the Caribbean Netherlands