KRALENDIJK – Qredits, ONL for entrepreneurs and HU Knowledge Center Digital Business & Media have conducted research into the impact of Covid-19 on small and medium-sized entrepreneurs on Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba.
Milagros Blanken, branch manager of Qredits on Bonaire, recently gave a presentation on the ‘highlights’ of the research for Lieutenant Governor Edison Rijna and Deputy Hennyson Thielman. To conclude her presentation, Ms. Blanken presented the report “Small Business Index 2021” to both directors.
The most interesting outcome of the report is that there is a difference between the impact of Covid-19 on entrepreneurs on Bonaire and entrepreneurs on the other two islands. Although most small and medium-sized entrepreneurs on Bonaire are starters and have a lower educational level than those on the other islands, they have shown to have a better resistance to the impact of Covid-19. A factor that could have played a major role in this is the support that entrepreneurs on Bonaire received during the crisis, which was almost equal to the support that entrepreneurs received in the Netherlands.
The difference in education level, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of creating training programs and opportunities to exchange experiences through ‘network events’ and holding lectures, so that entrepreneurs on Bonaire can better build and equip themselves. This is a motivation for Qredits to continue offering training programs such as the Ondernemersschool (which will be called ‘Small Business Academy’) and presenting the ‘BeYourOwn Boss’ program in high school.
Special attention should be given to creating more financial provisions, such as subsidies, that can help an entrepreneur on Bonaire to recover faster and in a sustainable way. Although stress levels are high among all entrepreneurs, many are optimistic about the future and hope to see an improvement in their financial situation. This also means that they do not consider making changes in the short term in the number of employees they can have.
Qredits and its employees will conduct this survey at least twice a year, in order to collect more data and monitor the development of small and medium-sized entrepreneurs on Bonaire, Curacao and Aruba. Small and medium-sized entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and it is important to identify and monitor their needs and development as well.