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The programme is geared to cushion the effects of economic decline of the region and comes through the assistance of the European Union (EU).
In an interview with the Government Information Agency (GINA), International Project Manager of LEAP, Mr. John Toner, said the programme is a seven-year initiative that will take time to evolve.
He reflected that the project has just reached its one-year mark and conceded that it is still in its embryonic stage.
"It is a complex, wide ranging and multi-faceted programme which is going to address every aspect of economic life in Linden, its environs and Region 10," Toner said.
"The LEAP programme is a response to the tragedy that involves the bauxite industry," he said.
He added that LEAP is not there to "solve the problems of the citizens of Region 10," but rather to act as a "catalyst of change" in helping the citizens to personally resolve the problems they face, through formulating and executing business initiatives.
Citing the seven components of LEAP, which include a Business Advisory Unit, a Business Incubator, and an Inward Investment machinery, the Project Manager explained that these units are already functional, as LEAP has been engaged in facilitating the progress of existing and emerging enterprises in the mining region.
Construction work on the Business Incubator, the LEAP component which essentially entails the perusing of new business proposals, training and advice to emerging entrepreneurs, should commence before mid-year, Toner said.
Apart from lending advice to potential and existing entrepreneurs, he added that several workshops have been staged and will continue to be extended primarily for former Linden Mining Enterprise (LINMINE) workers, to enlighten them on how to initiate their own business ventures.
However, he noted that the training is also open to other persons interested in attending the workshop sessions that are advertised in the media in the region.
The other components of LEAP are the Linden Economic Advancement Fund (LEAF), Vocational and Educational Training, Institutional Strengthening and Infrastructural Development.
LEAF is the credit arm of the LEAP programme, under which credit will be arranged for potential entrepreneurs through a commercial institution.
Funds are expected to be made available by mid-year, to individuals or groups who have submitted viable business plans that have been apprised by LEAP, Toner projected.
"This is not free money," the LEAP Manager stressed. He said successful borrowers will access funding through commercial institutions on their terms, a mechanism that is currently engaging Linden Economic Project coordinators.
In the interim, LEAP has developed cordial working relationships with commercial institutions to facilitate credit opportunities for business persons, a drive which has already recorded success, the LEAP official said.
''I have no doubt that as the LEAP project unfolds and develops, it would make a visible and measurable difference to the lives and people of Region Ten, through the employment opportunities and wealth created," he said. (GOVERNMENT INFORMATION AGENCY - GINA)