Social Investment Trends and BpTT’s enterprise development fund in Trinidad

The quality of life for the 11,000 residents of the villages in Mayaro, Trinidad is poor – poverty levels are high and education and training opportunities are low, fishing and agriculture industries are dying due to a lack of human and capital resources. By providing a TTD$7.2 million fund for private enterprise development, BP aims to facilitate the creation of new jobs and opportunities for the area’s young people. BP is one of the major companies in the Trinidad and Tobago energy sector. We are the largest producer of oil and natural gas and currently produce around 50,000 barrels of oil per day, which accounts for 45% of the country’s total production. We also sell in excess of 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day for use as fuel or feedstock for various industries in Trinidad and Tobago. The islands are heavily dependent on the energy sector and their economic fortunes have closely followed fluctuations in world oil prices. Although the success of our operations in Trinidad has raised many expectations in the community, over the years the area of Mayaro, where our oil and gas pipelines come ashore, saw none of the development benefits that should have trickled down from over USD $13 billion in royalties and taxes contributed by the company. Other more traditional industries such as agriculture and fishing have gradually withered over time, and restricted access to the post-secondary education system means that many 16 – 19 year olds face unemployment and little hope of finding a job. To address some of the employment problems faced by local residents, BP has invested TTD$7.2 million of seed capital into the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED). This initiative is a revolving fund specifically intended to stimulate the sustainable, economic development of Mayaro by encouraging the set-up of businesses owned and run by local residents. The fund is distinguished by a mentoring and business-training program aimed at increasing success rates of borrowers. Additionally, the transformation of BP's sports complex into a training and recreation centre is planned for completion in 2003. This centre is aimed at enhancing training and employment prospects for local residents. The initiative provides seed funding and working with local community groups the enterprise fund has selected 6 initiatives as its focus in 2002: • • • Making medium to large sized loans available for specific micro-enterprise projects - to date 26 loans totalling over TTD$600,000 have been disbursed. Special small loans and banking facilities for unemployed men and women to assist them with self-employment opportunities through a programme called HOPE – Helping Ourselves Prosper Economically Development of fishing and agriculture infrastructure and facilities.

The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young, 2002

The information on this page forms part of the information reviewed and reported on by Ernst & Young. 2002 .• • • Helping the local community to develop skills and opportunities to make Mayaro a centre for tourism Opportunities for beach beautification Creating training avenues and opportunities for employment outside of the energy sector.

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