About BELfund

The James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund Inc. (BELfund) was established by the Government of St. Lucia, primarily to promote sustainable development through self-help micro enterprise projects for individuals, families and groups among the less privileged sectors, through the provision of low cost loans, enterprise training, technical assistance and other support services.

In this regard, the overall objective of the BELfund is the empowerment of the poor, deprived, unemployed St. Lucian micro entrepreneur. BELfund fosters self-employment and job creation through the promotion and development of commercial and productive activities among low-income social and economic groups, and the informal sector in St. Lucia. This will be accomplished through the provision of Credit, Business Training, Business Support and other business services to poor persons who are seeking to become self-sufficient and therefore independent.

The BELfund was established to meet the following objectives

  • To facilitate initiatives which will allow for the advancement of academic and technical skills and employability of persons.
  • To encourage small-scale commercial projects which will provide social relief and improve the standard of living of residents.
  • To promote sustainable development through self-help micro enterprise projects for individuals, families and groups among the less privileged sectors through the provision of low cost loans, enterprise training, technical assistance and other support services.
  • To support initiatives that will create opportunities for sustainable employment and viable commercial activity.
  • To assist the underprivileged sectors to improve their standard of economic and social well-being and in the process to uplift their dignity.

In meeting its objectives, the BELfund will undertake specific activities as follows:

  • Make micro-enterprise credit facilities available to the less privileged members of society at affordable rates.
  • Train micro-entrepreneurs in the rudiments of business operations.
  • Provide technical assistance and business support to these micro-entrepreneurs to see the business through to success.
  • Mobilize and coordinate (local and international) financial, human, physical and technological resources and to utilize such resources to develop economically sound and financially viable projects for the less privileged sectors in the national economy.
  • Encourage the less privileged persons to access scientific, educational, economic and social development opportunities in St. Lucia.
  • Promote self-help (individual, family and group) micro enterprise planning and development within the less privileged sectors of St. Lucia and encourage the more privileged sectors of the community to support such initiatives.
  • Encourage the financial and business sectors to support the development of the less privileged sectors.

The BELfund was named after St. Lucia’s best known Philanthropist and Champion of the Poor, deceased James Alexander Belgrave, whose aim was always “to make ladies and gentlemen of the common girl and boy on the streets”. The BELfund was incorporated under the Companies Act of Saint Lucia on December 19, 1999 and opened its doors to the public on May 30, 2000.


James Alexander Belgrave was a St. Lucian who, on countless occasions, showed great love for humanity. He was often labeled a man with a stout heart, great determination and much patriotism. He was always willing and ready to sacrifice leisure time and money in order to be of assistance to his fellowmen and in particular, the unfortunate and wayward youth in this land.

Born to Richard and Beatrice Belgrave on 15th August 1909, James A. Belgrave received his early education at the Anglican Primary School. At a very early age he became renowned for his wit and his ability to entertain.

In the 1930’s Mr. Belgrave became the first person to present carnival as an organized group pageant. This achievement earned him the nickname “Way-Le-Le”.

Mr. “B” as he was affectionately known, was a multi-talented man who used his talent wisely. He founded what he termed a “unique youth organization” the Victoria Sports, Athletic, Dramatic and Cultural Club (VSADC) on 16th September 1935. The Club nurtured scores of young men and women in the areas of sports, drama and music; areas in which Mr. “B” excelled. To expound his aims and objectives, he chose a motto which reflected the true man: mans sana in corpore sano” (A sound mind in a sound body).

In keeping with the title VSADC for his club, Mr. “B” organized a drama group which gave wonderful performances of the plays which he wrote himself. Two of those plays were; “Life and its Coincidences and “A Woman and her Brave Army”. James Belgrave’s contribution in the field of music was substantial. He was known by many as an ardent choirmaster, leading a choir on Derek Walcott Square during the Jaycees’ Christmas Tree Celebration.

His ability as a leader was tested and tried when he founded another organization, The Castries Boys’ Club in 1951. This club was for those he called “the waifs and strays” and was situated at the Reclamation Grounds in Conway. He promoted the development of scores of young boys in areas such as physical training, art, music, woodwork, agriculture and masonry. As a result, many of them grew up to be well-mannered and self-dependent citizens.

Mr. Belgrave’s musical skill did come into play during the Club’s activities. He taught the boys to play the steel band. His achievement was visible when “The Melody Brothers All-steel Orchestra”, which he formed, won the island’s competition in steel-band music in 1953.

In the field of sport, Mr. Belgrave emerged as an outstanding sports administrator. In 1949 and 1954, he was elected secretary and treasurer respectively of the “St. Lucia Football Association”. Also in 1953, he was treasurer of the St. Lucia Table Tennis Association. He was also a member of the St. Lucia Athletic Association. His love for boxing motivated him to train many of the boys from the club and many other local boxers at that time.

James always sought to promote friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation among youth organizations locally and regionally. He was able to achieve that, to some extent, as president of the St. Lucia National Youth Council, where he touched base with all the youth groups on the island. He was the first president of that organization in 1967. In 1974, he was elected vice president of the St. Lucia Mental Health Association.

On June 10th, 1954 James Alexander Belgrave was honoured by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, with the British Empire Medal. Also in acknowledgement of his contribution, an avenue at Sans Soucis and a Multipurpose Sports Complex were named after him.

In his latter years, he founded the “James Belgrave Kindergarten Childcare Centre” in lower Maynard Hill or Trou Rouge in Marchand. One of his greatest desires was to make men and women of the common boy and girl on the streets of Castries. That he succeeded in doing in large measure.

James Alexander Belgrave’s long history as a Social worker, Leader, Musician, Sportsman and greatest of them all, Philanthropist and Champion of the Poor came to a halt when he died on March 28th, 1983. His contribution and dedication to the upliftment and development of the underprivileged will long be remembered.


The Government of Saint Lucia, as part of its search for a strategy to eradicate poverty on a sustainable basis, proposed the establishment of the James Belgrave Social Investment Fund (1992-2000 Budget Speech). The proposed fund had the following objectives:

Support initiatives that will engender greater community togetherness and civic responsibility and promote participation in community development.

Facilitate initiatives that will allow for the advancement of academic and technical skills and employability of persons.

Encourage small-scale infra-structural projects, which will provide social relief and improve the living condition of residents.

Support initiatives that will create opportunities for sustainable employment and viable commercial activity.

The then Prime Minister and Minister for Finance in presenting the national budget also indicated that: “Overall…the objective is to rescue some of our young people from crime and direct them to self-sustaining economic activity.” To support the fund, the Prime Minister allocated EC$600,000.00 from the STEP programme.


The James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund Inc. (BELfund) was established primarily to assist the poor, deprived, underprivileged and unemployed St. Lucian Micro Entrepreneurs who have thus far been unable to access credit facilities. The BELfund has as its overall objective, the empowerment of the poor, the unemployed micro entrepreneur and other under privileged persons.

BELfund will foster self-employment and job creation through the promotion and development of commercial and productive activities among low-income social and economic groups, and the informal sector in St. Lucia. This will be accomplished through the provision of Credit, Business Training, Business Support and other support services to poor persons who are seeking to become self-sufficient and therefore independent.


An assessment undertaken by the World Bank of the Micro-finance sub-sector in Saint Lucia in March 1999 entitled “Revolving Fund for a Micro-finance Institution) recorded the following findings;

That micro finance institutions in St. Lucia do not follow sound financial practices regarding micro finance.

Micro finance institutions in Saint Lucia require collateral that the majority of micro entrepreneurs and farmers cannot satisfy.

The poorest of the poor are not beneficiaries of micro credit.

Interventions or projects aimed at assisting micro entrepreneurs to increase the profitability of their enterprises tend to be piecemeal, disjointed and limited in scope.

An integral approach is needed to improve the profitability of the micro sector.

If projects and investments that are proposed and/or are on-going were coordinated to provide an integrated set of interventions, impacts would be greater.

The report analyzed various options inclusive of the creation of a new institution for lending to the poor. The report further indicated that a “new institution could select the best expertise in the region to launch a programme designed to follow the best practices and reach the poor. A new institution would not have to overcome the bad habits of some of the existing institution but could start afresh.


The James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund Inc (BELfund) commenced its business operations on May 31st, 2000 at #31 Leslie Land Road in Castries. To date many persons have been interviewed in first interviews, and second interviews have been and are continuing to be conducted.


  • Hair Braiding
  • Hair Dressing
  • Construction
  • Tailor Shop
  • Goods Delivery Services
  • Restaurants & Fast Food Canteens
  • Pre School/Day Care
  • Block Making
  • Computer Applications
  • Computer & Cell Phone Repairs
  • Bakeries
  • Karaoke System
  • Landscaping
  • Beauty Parlours
  • Barber Shops
  • Massage Parlours
  • Beauty Day Spas
  • Tyre Service & Repair Shops
  • Videography & Photography
  • Security Agency
  • Internet Cafes
  • Sign Making
  • Auto Body Repair & Cleaning
  • Janitorial Services
  • Printing Services
  • Muffler, Radiator & Shock Repair
  • Electronics Repair
  • Auto Mechanic Shops


  • Craft & Boat Building
  • Upholstery
  • Puzzle Book Publication
  • Cocoa Stick Processing
  • Soya Bean Processing
  • Ceramics Manufacture
  • Furniture Manufacture
  • Dress Making
  • Icicle Manufacture
  • Wine Production
  • Scented Candle Manufacture
  • Jams & Jellies Leather Craft
  • Concrete Products Manufacture


  • Mini Marts
  • Grocery Shops
  • Vending (Roadside)
  • Frozen Foods Retail
  • Local Music Distribution
  • Pottery Retail
  • Variety Shops
  • Gift and Souvenir Shops
  • Bridal Parlour
  • Health Product Retail


  • Fishing
  • Fish Vending
  • Fishing Accessories


  • Pig Rearing
  • Broiler Production
  • Layer (Egg) Production


  • Vegetable Farming
  • Aqua Culture



To date, over nine hundred and fourty (940) loans have already been disbursed at a total value of approximately $16.7 million, and in the process at least one thousand four hundred and ten (1410) direct jobs have been created, with at least one thousand five hundred and ninty-eight (1598) indirect short-term jobs created as a result of the numerous renovations, extensions and other minor construction works undertaken in the various businesses by the clients.

In other areas of success it can be safely said that more of the BELfund’s target market, which is the Grass roots, and more so the youth, have been benefiting from the programme and receiving assistance. Whilst this is a very positive sign, we are cognizant of the fact that more needs to be done to get more of those persons coming forward to receive assistance from the BELfund.

Also worth noting is the fact that we have established clear policies and guidelines for the efficient and effective operation of the BELfund. The measures so far taken and those to be taken are designed to strengthen the internal control procedures of the BELfund and to ensure greater transparency and accountability in the conduct of the BELfund’s affairs.


The geographic spread of participants to date are as follows:


Dennery, Praslin, Mon Repos, Micoud


Millet, Anse La Raye, Canaries, Soufriere, Choiseul


Castries, Babonneau, Grand Rivierre, Marisule, Mongiraud, Monchy, Bocage, Forestierre, Bexon, Marc, Barre Denis, Marigot, La Croix, Roseau,


Desruisseaux, Vieux Fort, Laborie

Gender of Participants:

Of the persons who have benefited from BELFund’s assistance, 53% are Female while 47% are Male.


The age range of beneficiaries from the BELfund’s programme of assistance to date is from 18 years to 74 years. However, of the total number of persons benefiting from the programme, over 50% are young persons between the ages of 18 – 35 years old.



In an effort to becoming more effective and make an even bigger impact in the St. Lucian Economy and on the populace of this country, the following is necessary:

  1. The continuation of the Public Relations and Advertising campaigns using the various media available.
  2. The availability of adequate funds to ensure a smooth operation of the BELfund as it relates to its operations and more importantly the granting of loans to clients.
  3. The sourcing of Grant or Charitable Funds which can be given at rates which can be considered concessionary to those persons who may not be able to meet the current requirements of the BELfund.
  4. The continued training of the BELfund’s staff members in the various areas of Micro Enterprise Development and Loans Management and any other areas which may be relevant to the operations of the Fund, in an effort to providing more efficient and effective service to its clients.
  5. The need to put in place an additional Business support officer, whose job it be to travel to the various business locations to assist and advise BELfund's clients in the various areas of business to ensure the continued success of the business in the long term.




All of the above are necessary if the BELfund is to have or expected to make any significant impact on the society and the economy of St. Lucia as a whole. However it must be stressed that the availability of sufficient funds to allow such impact is and will continue to be very necessary in the life span of the organization.

The strategy of poverty reduction through employment is sure to create sustainable development not only economically, but socially as well, as more St. Lucians will be able to provide for themselves and their families. The James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund Inc, if allowed, will serve as an effective weapon in the fight against poverty and under-development and is sure to create a significant and lasting impact on the economic and social landscape of St. Lucia.

The BELfund is now located at Gablewoods Mall, Sunny Acres, Castries

To create the conditions for the empowerment of the poor, through fostering sustainable micro enterprise development, by providing access to credit, enterprise training, business support, technical assistance and other support services.
The vision for St. Lucia held by the BELfund is of a country which affords the poor, deprived, unemployed St. Lucian every opportunity for economic and social advancement and self improvement, and which promotes and encourages sustainable micro enterprise development as a mechanism for such development.



Our Advantages

  • No Appointments for First Interviews Necessary:
    Whether you’re looking to start your business or just want information, you can just walk in to the BELfund’s Office during working hours and ask to speak to an officer. No appointment is necessary for your first interview with the BELfund.

    We are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday during which time Officers will be available to answer all your questions.
  • Loans for All Categories of Business:
    Unlike other financial institutions, the BELfund offers loans in all categories of business, as long as it is legal. These categories of business include Service and Trade, Retail and Distribution, Manufacturing, Tourism, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Agri -Business and Agro Processing
  • We Assist the Unemployed:
    The BELfund is possibly the only financial institution on the island that provides funding for unemployed persons wishing to establish a micro business.
  • No Deposits Necessary:
    Persons qualified to receive assistance from BELfund are not required to deposit any money to be able to access funding from us. All you need is a business idea.
  • Minimum Security Requirements:
    On the basis of its target market, the BELfund understands that not all persons will be in possession of collateral or items to offer as security for loans. In that regard, the BELfund offers assistance to any qualified individual on the provision of minimal security requirements, such as Guarantors and Bills of Sale items.
  • Flexible Repayment Periods:
    At BELfund, we understand that some businesses require more time than others to grow and become sustainable. In that regard, we offer our clients flexible repayment periods that is best suited to their needs. Repayment periods for BELfund clients are from one to six (1 – 6) years.
  • Business Training:
    The BELfund understands that not all persons seeking to go into business will have the knowledge or experience in that regard. On that basis, we provide our clients with Business Training to give them the competitive edge and the tools necessary to succeed in their business.
  • Business Support:
    Business Support is that hand holding approach designed to encourage our customers to manage and operate their businesses in an effective and efficient manner. Business Support is a form of business mentoring aimed at providing guidance and advice and where necessary, on the spot refresher training to our clients to help them succeed in their businesses.

Our Partners