Allington Creque, popularly known as 'Gumption', had dreams of purchasing a glass bottom boat and opening up his own business, but was unable to meet the banking requirements for a loan.
As his moniker suggest, Creque never gave up and eventually met and sold his idea to Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group. Some months later, Creque received a loan from Sir Richard towards the purchase of a glass bottom boat which jump started his Sea It Clear tour business.
Creque fought back tears as Sir Richard announced to reporters a plan to provide start-up business loans to young persons in the BVI with the gumption to assemble an out of the box business idea.
According to Sir Richard, he decided to provide the loans after meeting with Premier and Minister for Finance, Dr. D. Orlando Smith over lunch and discussing the difficulties young persons experienced in accessing bank loans to start businesses.
Sir Richard Branson (left) and Allington 'Gumption' Creque on board the Sea It Clear glass bottom boat.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
He contacted Google's Co-founder, Mr. Lawrence 'Larry' Page and his wife Lucinda, and they all decided to inject money into a loan financing initiative.
"I talked to Larry and Lucy Page from Google...What we are going to do is something that we have done in one or two other countries, is to make small loans available to young people to help them get their businesses going. Then as they repay those loans, then it can go to other people so it will be an ever revolving process so we never expect to get the loans back," Sir Richard told reports on Necker Island Friday, March 22.
Sir Richard explained that they are hoping in that process to get quite a few new businesses going in the BVI. He said preference will be given to people who bring new ideas to the BVI, as opposed to people who are duplicating something that is already happening in the BVI.
"Obviously we are going to disappoint quite a few people because there are only so many people we can look after, but if it goes well, Larry, myself and Lucy will try and get other people in the BVI to join us so we can build up quite a good fund to lend out to people," Sir Richard added.
There are plans to ask business people in the BVI to agree to be mentors to the people who will benefit from the loans.
Sir Richard stated that as the loans are repaid, a committee of entrepreneurs who built their businesses though the loan facility will become mentors of the next beneficiaries.
Entrepreneurs in the BVI can submit their business idea for consideration via email to email@example.com.