Making it happen. For real.
In 2019, SeyCCAT is piloting several new interventions to tackle the accessibility riddle.
- Accepting applications in Creole: In 2019, SeyCCAT translated the application form in Creole and started accepting applications in the local language. It was also decided that if an applicant sought a large grant and submitted the initial application in the Creole, they would automatically receive a PPG, increasing their chances to receive the funding.
As a result, SeyCCAT received one application in Creole from an individual looking for a smaller grant. This indicates that accepting applications in the native tongue might be a successful strategy to reach members of the local community and stimulate people-owned, small-scale innovation.
- Reaching out proactively: This year, SeyCCAT did not simply rely on the 3-islands public meeting to attract potential applicants but opted for a more proactive approach, which included targeted one-to-one meetings and in-person visits:
- Meetings with four fishing communities from Cascade, Glacis, Roche Caiman and Praslin.
- Meetings with students from post-secondary institutions such as the Seychelles Maritime Academy, University of Seychelles and the Seychelles Business Studies Academy.
- Meetings with young female entrepreneurs
- Meetings with public sector representatives
- SeyCCAT and the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) hosted an event on “Greening Business”, introducing opportunities of grant financing from SeyCCAT.
- SeyCCAT participated in the National Job Fair to suggest an option of starting own business to the jobseekers.
- SeyCCAT delivered three presentations upon receiving direct requests from the organization.
During a six-week period, SeyCCAT engaged over 170 people.
- Building capacity early on: While, the Project Preparation Grant proved to be highly successful, it is only available at the second stage of the application process, leaving the applicants to their own devices during the first stage. However, the quality of the initial application is critical to be selected for the following stages.
To cover this capacity gap, SeyCCAT mobilized its partners: The Guy Morel Institute (the accounting and finance arm of the University of Seychelles), the Enterprise Seychelles Agency (government body responsible for the development of small-to-medium enterprises in Seychelles), the Seychelles Fishing Authority (responsible for management of fisheries in Seychelles), the Seychelles National Youth Council, and the SIDS Youth AIMS Hub. Together, they mobilized resources and provided two capacity building sessions covering project and budget writing skills, project management essential, monitoring and evaluation, and providing more information about financing opportunities in Seychelles. One of the two sessions was offered to people below the age of 35 and was funded through the UNDP GEF Small Grants Programme. Out of the 65 people who benefited from the capacity building events, 17 applied for the Blue Grants Fund III.
These three interventions have led to a record-breaking number of applications, of which 12.5% are led by fishers or their associations, 54% are led by women, and 29% have a profit-related component. Total amount of requested funds is $2.5 million.
In addition to the measures above, with the support of SWIOfish3, SeyCCAT secured a technical consultant who will help fishers and other potential applicants build their applications, learn how to develop business ideas, and successfully apply for financing. The consultancy will start in July 2019.
Come as you are
To sum up, at SeyCCAT we are taking seriously our commitment to make financing available to the local community. Be it an individual, a business, a government entity, or a non-profit, everyone will have an equal opportunity to prepare a successful application regardless of the previous experience and availability of own resources. Success of each applicant is our shared success. We believe that every implemented project is a step forward to the sustainable blue future for everyone in our country.