The Daily Herald writes that Country coordinator for the Caribbean Netherlands for PUM Netherlands Senior Experts Marja Hendriksen recently visited St. Eustatius and Saba. PUM, a Dutch agency with a data base of more than 3,000 volunteer experts, has as its goal to connect entrepreneurs in developing countries and emerging markets with senior experts from the Netherlands, each of whom has gained at least 30 years of experience in a business environment. These senior experts voluntarily devote their knowledge to the execution of short-term, solid consultancy projects at the work floor.
Until recently PUM was not able to service Statia, Saba and Bonaire; however, since the Ministry of Home Affairs made a first budget available for the islands a few weeks ago PUM was able to include them in their itinerary. The small and medium business sector is PUM’s target group as it is very difficult for these businesses to pay high-level consultancy fees. The only cost involved for entrepreneur using PUM’s expertise is the cost for room and board for a period of maximum two weeks.
During her visit to Statia and Saba, Hendriksen held meetings with interested business owners and representatives of vocational training and government. These contacts have already led to a few initial requests for assistance from business owners which could materialize in concrete projects within the next months.
To have a permanent presence on the islands, Chamber of Commerce President Koos Sneek was officially appointed by Hendriksen as the local representative for Statia and Saba.