The Enterprise Development Division (EDD) has responsibility for developing policies and programmes for the Micro and Small Enterprise (MSE) sector. Its role entails collaboration and forging partnerships with key stakeholders, as well as monitoring the progress of the sector. Their key responsibilities include MSEs, public sector and private sector agencies, the organized labour movement, civil society organisations and international agencies such as; the European Union (EU), CARICOM Secretariat and the International Labour Organization (ILO).
The mission of the EDD is to promote entrepreneurship and foster a more enabling environment for entrepreneurs by developing policies aimed at improving the entrepreneurial climate and spurring economic activity through diversification.
The Enterprise Development Division was established and given responsibility for:
- Policy development for the MSE sector
- Monitoring the performance of NEDCO and the MSE Sector
- Managing inter-institutional and inter-agency relationships and exercising supervision on behalf of the Minister by receiving and reviewing reports
- Making necessary interventions with the approval of the Minister to ensure that policy implementation is on course.
The Co-operative Development Division (CDD) regulates and supervises Co-operatives in Trinidad and Tobago under the legislative requirements of the Co-operative Societies Act, Chapter 81:03 of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago.
A Co-operative Society is an association of persons who have voluntarily joined together to achieve common economic, social and/or cultural objectives through the formation of a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise. Co-operative Societies operate with principles and values such as self-help and mutual assistance to provide services for their members in a prudent and effective manner. Members make contributions to the capital through the purchase of shares and contribute to income by utilizing the services available.
Every Co-operative Society must be registered under the Co-operative Societies’ Act, Chapter 81:03 of the Laws of Trinidad and Tobago. Each member is treated in an equitable manner and receives a share of surpluses realized.
In Trinidad and Tobago, there are 313 active co-operative societies with an approximate membership of over 600,000 member account holders. Co-operatives have an estimated asset base of over TT$16.5 billion.
Categories of Co-Operatives
There are four (4) broad categories of co-operatives in Trinidad and Tobago as follows:
- Financial co-operatives also called credit unions, which offer a source of credit and means of saving/investment to their members.
- Non-Financial Co-operatives (NFCs) which provide goods and services to members and other persons as the main objective and which may provide a source of credit to members only. These areas can include Agriculture; Consumer/Retail; Creative Arts; Education; Housing and Community Development; Hospitality and Tourism; Transportation and more.
- Junior Co-operatives -which comprise of young persons, under the age of twenty-one (21) years, which operate under the co-operative business model and are guided by co-operative principles.
- Secondary Bodies – organized to provide services to its members which consist exclusively of Co-operative Societies or a combination of Co-operative Societies and individuals.
The mandate of the CDD includes promoting Co-operatives as viable business enterprises and ensuring safety, soundness, professionalism and fair-play for all. The Commissioner for Co-operative Development (CCD) heads the CDD, serves as the Registrar of Co-operatives in Trinidad and Tobago and is also responsible for the supervision and regulation, development and growth of the Co-operative Movement.
The CDD strives to create an enabling environment in which Co-operatives can contribute towards the socio-economic development of the lives of its members. The CDD assists Co-operatives through the following services:
- Dispute Resolution
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The Office of the Registrar of Friendly Societies and Building Societies is responsible for the supervision and regulation of the operations of societies registered under the Friendly Societies Act Chap. 32:50 and Building Societies Act Chap. 33:04 respectively.
The Friendly Societies Division is also responsible for the management and execution of projects and programmes for the Friendly Societies Division and the Friendly Societies Movement.
Pursuant to sections 5(1) and 6 (1) of the Friendly Societies Act, the following societies are required to be registered under the Act:
- Friendly Societies and Fraternal Orders;
- Cattle Insurance Societies;
- Benevolent Societies; and
- Working men’s Clubs (now commonly known as Fraternal Orders).
Friendly Societies have been in existence in Trinidad and Tobago since the early 19th century. In the 1970s to early 1980s, before the development of large-scale government and employer health insurance and other financial services, Friendly Societies in Trinidad and Tobago played a pivotal role in many people’s lives and were active in the promotion of the welfare of communities.
Today, there are 47 registered friendly societies and 2 building societies which falls under the supervision of the Registrar of Friendly Societies.
Friendly Societies help their members to:
- Mobilize savings
- Empower Communities with moral values and respect.
- Connect with Charitable Organisations
- Join Medical Plans
- Access Death Benefits
- Access Loans
- Acquire Land
- Get advice on utilizing Bonuses
- Access Education and Training
- Make Financial Investments (UTC/Stocks/Bonds/shares)
The mission of the National Entrepreneurship Development Company (NEDCO) is to promote and support the development of new and existing MSEs to achieve financial independence, sustain ability and competitiveness through the provision of evolving, cutting edge financial products and development support services in a customer focused environment.
NEDCO’s services include:
- Business Advisory
- Business Acceleration
- Lending Facility
- Grant Facility
Learn more about NEDCO at: https://nedcottfunding.com/