Ms. Deedee Johnson, LL.B joins the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary for a month.

The Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary in its effort to afford young professionals the opportunity to gain on hand experience prior to entering the work force welcomed, Ms. Johnson to the Cabinet.

Ms. Johnson, a legal scholar, will be stationed at the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary through the month of August, where she has been tasked to research the grant systems of the Netherlands and the European Union in the areas of Creative Industries and assistance to Small Medium Enterprises (SME). We have chosen these specific sectors, as they are often key in expanding and diversifying a country’s economic base.

Hence, when taking into account the growth of these two sectors on a global platform, it is more than worthwhile to research possibilities for the financing of projects on Sint Maarten geared towards the strengthening of small and medium enterprises, specifically those in the creative industries. By doing so, we will be able to contribute to the further development of SMEs on the island. The outcome of this process will ultimately result in these businesses reaching even higher competitive standards, becoming better prepared to market their products and services on the international market and increase their overall resilience.

Ms. Johnson in an invited comment elaborated on her enthusiasm on being given the opportunity to research and present her findings. St. Maarten, Ms. Johnson stated, is currently in the phase of recovery after the catastrophic effects of hurricane Irma. These catastrophic effects have resulted in huge financial constraints on the island on our road to recovery.Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we understand various ways in which we can rebuild stronger both structurally and financially in order to become sustainable in our fragile environment. During my internship at the Cabinet of the Minister Plenipotentiary of Sint Maarten in The Hague, I will be conducting detailed research on the various European Union and Dutch grants, vouchers and funding that are available for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the creative industry on St. Maarten.

With this report Ms. Johnson hopes to provide a step by step comprehensive overview that will allow entrepreneurs and professionals to have a clear and concise understanding of the opportunities available to them through the European Union and The Netherlands. This will essentially encourage financial growth and innovation as we continue to rebuild our nation.

This report will be published for the public at large through various platforms, such as, social media, the website of the Plenipotentiary and various institutions on the island. I would like to advise the residents of St. Maarten to stay informed on the activities we are carrying out here in The Netherlands on behalf of St. Maarten and to join us in creating a positive and greater presence in the international community as a strong, resilient and innovative young country.

After completing this task, Ms. Johnson will be taking a one year sabbatical from her studies and will be returning to Sint Maarten where her services will be rendered to government in this critical recovery stage. At the end of her one year sabbatical, she will be returning to the Netherlands to obtain her Masters degree.