Sugar cane harvest. (Photo: VNA)

Soc Trang (VNA) – A Canadian fund for small- and medium-sized enterprises has fertilised ground for several creative business ideas after its two-year implementation in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang.

Twenty-nine local firms have registered their projects so far.

In 2015 alone, three initiatives were selected from 13 submissions and granted nearly 800 million VND (36,000 USD). These included a project on cooperation models to produce and diversify abalone mushrooms, which secured an investment of more than 350 million VND (15,750 USD).

Beginning in 2014, the funding programme, which has a budget of 12 billion VND (54,000 USD), will last until 2017.

It aims to provide 49 percent of total costs of the project selected from across 11 local districts and cities.

Maximum funding per project is 500 million VND (22,500 USD) for enterprises, and 300 million VND (13,500 USD) for households and collectives.

According to Le Thanh Tri, Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, the Canadian government’s support through the programme has encouraged local business creativity, contributing to economic development in the locality.

The firms recorded a revenue increase due to production growth and improved competitiveness. As such, they provided more training for employees and created more jobs.-VNA