With the aim of nurturing micro and small businesses, Government has injected some $117.4 million towards the construction of a business incubator centre at Belvedere Industrial Estate in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne).Minister of State, Joseph Harmon on Thursday disclosed that Cabinet has approved the award of the contract to Memorex Enterprises for works on the project to commence.He explained that the business incubator is aimed at helping small businesses to start up their operations for the first three years so that they can be sustained afterwards.“The key elements of the incubator are the provision of an environment where businesses can start their work quickly and can expand their operations rapidly. It supports the work of small businesses and provides for them to survive the incubation period of their businesses,” the Minister said.Among the facilities that will be offered by this centre to budding entrepreneurs are: room space, equipment and services such as training, marketing, consulting, organisation and management as well as legal, financial and other advisory services.“Many small businesses, by their very nature, fail – some succeed and some fail. So what we are doing, we are giving them a prop in that first three years…because that is usually the critical period that you identify in start-up for business. So what this incubator is doing, it is taking away some of the responsibilities which a small person starting up a business will have – the research, marketing and all these services, so that it guarantees you a better opportunity of succeeding,” he added.This project falls under the purview of the Business Ministry, which has done extensive research on the need for such a facility. Similar facilities are expected to be constructed across the country.In his Budget 2018 presentation on Monday last, Finance Minister Winston Jordan disclosed that some $350 million has been allocated for the completion of works on the Lethem Industrial Estate and the Belvedere Industrial Estate in 2018. These facilities, he added, are expected to have a combined capacity of about 250 to facilitate value-added production, while benefiting from economies of scale.Jordan went on to say that support to micro and small businesses would continue next year through the creation of additional business incubators and accelerators, in Regions Five and Nine, at a cost of $36 million.“These structures will foster the growth of businesses by facilitating the provision of support services, such as business registration, documentation, and capacity building. Further, through the establishment of business registration hubs, like the one opened in Lethem (Region Nine) this year, and the upcoming one in Mahdia (Region Eight), we will continue to improve the ease of doing business. In 2018, four other business registration hubs will be established in Regions One, Five, Six and 10,” the Finance Minister further stated.