Cuba: Sancti Spiritus Continues to Exercise Self-employment

Mary Luz Borrego

Self-employment, an option recently eased by the Cuban state as part of the economic restructuring undertaken in the island, is exercised at present by over 15 740 residents in the country’s central province, Sancti Spiritus.

Self-employment, an option recently eased by the Cuban state as part of the economic restructuring undertaken in the island, is exercised at present by over 15 740 residents in the country’s central province, Sancti Spiritus, a figure which represents an increase of about 6 300 since the growth and openness of this labor alternative during the last quarter of 2010.

“The demand keeps on being a valid employment option for all, which implies a contribution and a benefit to the family economy and to the country. Among the most popular activities are the producer/seller of food in its four varieties, CDs buyer/seller, delivery person, babysitter, housing landlord, and carrier “said Olideisy Rodriguez, deputy director of Employment in Sancti Spiritus.

Nowadays, Cuba counts on 181 legal activities with different advantages from the personal  point of view, as well as the possibility of receiving social security and maternity benefits, and the opportunity to access bank loans to develop businesses.

Self-employed workers in the province, a labor sector recently booming, contributed over 45 million dollars to the state budget in 2011, a significant share to local socio-economic development which involved an addition of nearly 34 million pesos when compared to the closing of the preceding year.

Small businesses originated in Cuba in the 90’s, but since the last months of 2010 self-employment was opened and expanded in order to enhance entrepreneurs’ participation in the economic and social development of the island.

Since January, Cuba’s National Association of Economists and Accountants in Sancti Spiritus offers several courses to provide self-employed with some accounting and tax knowledge, in order to qualify these people to manage their own enterprises, with the necessary skills and knowledge of marketing and other disciplines.

In general, the essence of the openness of this sector lies on increasing productivity and efficiency, offering goods and services, ensuring  revenue to self-employed; getting the state rid of much of the subsidies previously kept, and most important of all: raising the population standard of living.

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