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Caribbean Angel Investor ecosystem raises private capital and launches regional business Angel network

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'Driving Growth Through Private Investment', was the focus of the Caribbean Export Development Agency’s (Caribbean Export) hosting of the 2nd Caribbean Angel Investor Forum at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The forum, which was held 29-30 November 2018, gathered a distinguished group of prominent policy makers, entrepreneurs, private and angel investors.   

Minister of Trade and Industry with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Paula Gopee-Scoon in her opening remarks underscored the challenges entrepreneurs face with the limited options found within traditional banking systems which often require collateral and venture capital to secure:  “If our businesses are to compete globally, the support of diverse investment modalities is crucial.  I must applaud the angel investor ecosystem in Trinidad and Tobago which has helped to create a programme which provides a forum for budding entrepreneurs to receive much-needed early-stage capital.”

The Forum is part of the LINK-Caribbean programme which is implemented by Caribbean Export with financial support from the World Bank Group. Launched in September 2016, LINK-Caribbean is an initiative of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) which is managed by the World Bank and funded by the Government of Canada. LINK-Caribbean designed to foster innovative and growth-oriented enterprises in the Caribbean region to raise capital from private investors and establish functioning angel groups to strengthen the start-up finance eco-system in the region.

Since 2016, LINK-Caribbean has connected entrepreneurs with private investors, helped raise capital for innovative new and early-stage businesses as well as developed a Caribbean early-stage investing community including angel investors, institutional investors and diaspora investors.

The program has also offered training and support services to assist companies in securing angel investment.   Among its key outputs, LINK-Caribbean awarded 24 Investment Facilitation grants to Caribbean start-ups and early-stage firms. The deployment of these grants along with other LINK-Caribbean activities played a central role in enabling 10 Caribbean entrepreneurs to raise over $2.3 million from business angel investors.

“The number of grants that have been awarded since LINK-Caribbean was launched speaks to the high interest of capital investors, angel investors and entrepreneurs in the Caribbean region,” said Sophia Muradyan, World Bank co-ordinator for the regional programme. “Many of the region’s pressing concerns in critical sectors such as transportation, health and agriculture can be addressed by innovative solutions and ideas. We hope that these awards will inspire more entrepreneurs to innovate, grow and scale up their ideas.”

“We are really pleased with how LINK-Caribbean has surpassed the initial targets set in terms of the value of capital raised from private investors and the number of firms benefitting from the programme.  LINK-Caribbean has successfully supported the development of a rapidly emerging angel investing ecosystem and the development of a truly Caribbean Angel Network,” said Christopher McNair, manager for competitiveness and export promotion at Caribbean Export.

LINK-Caribbean also facilitated the creation of a Caribbean Business Angel Network (CBAN), formerly known as RAIN.  Today, CBAN serves as a collaborative platform between investor groups with the potential for pan-Caribbean early-stage investments.  Within the region there are seven Angel groups (First Angels Jamaica and Alpha Angels in Jamaica; Trident Angels in Barbados; Renaissance Angels and IP Angels in Trinidad and Tobago; and Enlaces and Nexxus in the Dominican Republic) and a new group is being established in the Bahamas. First Angels Jamaica and Trident Angels from Barbados have both successfully invested in companies that were part of the LINK-Caribbean program.

“Although the 2 – year LINK-Caribbean programme is ending, its impact as expressed by the fledgling angel investor eco-system will be sustained by the angel groups across the region,” said McNair. “Caribbean Export is committed to supporting the region’s private sector with the implementation of the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Program where access to finance is a key pillar. We are also seeking alternative funding mechanisms throughout CARIFORUM.”

 

About LINK-Caribbean and EPIC

LINK-Caribbean is an initiative of the World Bank Group’s Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), a seven-year, CAD 20 million program funded by the government of Canada that seeks to build a supportive ecosystem for high-growth and sustainable enterprises throughout the Caribbean. The project contributes to increased competitiveness, growth, and job creation in the Caribbean region through the development of a robust and vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. EPIC has three core activity pillars: mobile innovation, climate technology, and women-led entrepreneurship. These pillars are complemented by an access to finance facility for Caribbean entrepreneurs and a skills upgrading and capacity development program for all ecosystem stakeholders.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Info DevContact:

Alison Christie Binger

T 1 (876) 330-1155

E [email protected]
http://www.infodev.org

@infoDev

 

About Caribbean Export

Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund.

 

Caribbean Export’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic alliances.

 

Caribbean Export Development Agency Contact:

JoEllen Laryea, PR and Communications

Tel: +1(246) 436-0578, Fax: +1(246) 436-9999

Email: [email protected]

www.carib-export.com

@caribxport

 

Caribbean

Caribbean Export boosting the international competitiveness of the region’s services sector

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As services industries and providers across the region learn to navigate the global pandemic, Caribbean Export Development Agency in collaboration with the Belize Coalition of Services Provides, the Jamaica Coalition of Services Industries and the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries are stepping in to host a training programme to enhance the export-readiness of services SMEs.

Commencing on October 1st, 2020. This programme will support thirty (30) services providers operating in the business and professional services, and information, communication, and technology sectors (ICT) and is funded by the European Union as part of the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme.

Ten entrepreneurs will be selected from each country to undertake the training and subsequently, six participants from each country will be selected to receive one on one coaching based on their performance during the workshop. The objective of the coaching is to provide them with feedback to complete their export plans.

The training will take place virtually over five days and will provide an opportunity for participating businesses to develop export plans, access regional and international markets and develop their global brands.

The Services Go Global (SGG) programme was developed to optimize the CARIFORUM region’s export of services by building the capacity of service providers to capitalize on opportunities under the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), CARICOM Single Market & Economy (CSME) and other existing trade agreements; and developing national capacity through a cadre of certified trainers for the SGG programme, geared to assist SME’s in the services sector. The workshop will be facilitated by master trainers, Michelle Hustler (Barbados) and Dr. Nsombi Jaja (Jamaica).

“Services play a crucial role in the development of the economies in CARIFORUM, not just as a sector but also due to the significant impact on other sectors such as the manufacturing sector. Caribbean Export is deeply committed to the development of the region’s services sector and it is hoped that firms large and small capitalize upon this opportunity to build their capacity to take advantage of the CARIFORUM-EU EPA and importantly during this pandemic build their resilience and their ability to support other sectors to better integrate into the new global economy.” expressed Allyson Francis, Services Specialist at Caribbean Export.

There are currently a number of opportunities for small firms to enter new markets, and it is anticipated these will be increased once they have participated in the SERVICES Go Global programme. This human and institutional capacity building initiative goes hand in hand with another joint project between the development agencies, which aims to enhance the sustainability of the national services coalitions which provide critical business support services to local service providers including training, advocacy and export promotions.

“SERVICES Go Global is a timely and comprehensive training programme for service exporters, and this training comes at an opportune time as businesses in Trinidad and Tobago seek to pivot their services,” shared Lara Quentrall – Thomas, President, Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries. Dr. Dionne Chamberlain, President, Belize Coalition for Services Providers echoed Ms. Quentrall – Thomas’s sentiments, and confirmed that the course will not only prove valuable to service providers across the region but will enhance their own export efforts in the process.

The programme was developed and delivered by Global Links Network, certified international trade professionals who have delivered services training in over 50 countries worldwide over the past 20 years. To date, SERVICES Go Global is the only export readiness training programme for services exporters and would-be exporters in the world. The programme follows a logical, sequenced approach to exporting – a ‘Roadmap’ – and takes the exporters through four stages and twelve modules of export preparation. With the completion of each module, elements of the service provider’s export plan are developed. Service providers who undertake the course leave having completed the essential elements of their export plan and having gained the valuable skills necessary to successfully engage in the international marketplace.

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14 entrepreneurs to start the #OECS - #CaribbeanExport coaching programme

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The OECS-Caribbean Export Development Agency's Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme launched on July 8, 2020 with the aim of strengthening the entrepreneurial and leadership skills of 14 selected young entrepreneurs from six countries of the Eastern Caribbean.

In her remarks at the virtually held launch event Caribbean Exports’ Services Specialist – Allyson Francis, underscored the importance of the private sector and youth owned businesses, in particular, for sustainable economic growth in the Caribbean.

Youth are the future. Their businesses are a critical foundation for sustainable economic growth in the region and so we must invest in them and their businesses.”

Funding for this technical assistance and coaching programme comes via the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, which the Agency is currently implementing.

Caribbean Export implemented a similar coaching programme for women owned businesses which was very successful, and so I encourage the participants to leverage the knowledge and expertise of the coaches and to build a network between one another” she continued.

The programme pursues three main objectives, namely: 

  • Assisting entrepreneurs to clarify their vision and develop achievable goals that can be translated into tangible results; 

  • assisting entrepreneurs to develop transformative business models and strategies that enhance productivity, competitiveness and growth, and;

  • providing technical support to set entrepreneurs on a path towards export readiness.

The beneficiaries of the OECS-Caribbean Export Development Agency's Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme were targeted through national Business Service Organisations and the OECS 30 under 30 programme. From 21 applications, 14 companies have been selected to participate in the three-month coaching programme from both the services and goods sectors. 

The group of young entrepreneurs will benefit from a highly experienced team of coaches in multiple areas such as business plan development, financial analysis, operations management, sales, marketing and branding, human resource management, proposal development, product development and quality assurance, legal and regulatory environment, ethical and sustainable business trends, information and communication technologies and e-commerce, and creative industries among others.

The coaching programme also includes the completion of a comprehensive analysis of each beneficiary companies and the development of individual strategies which will address their specific issues.

In closing, OECS and Caribbean Export reaffirmed the intention to continue to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean through complementary projects which will be launched in the future.

Company Entrepreneur's name Country Sector
Shop D Caribbean Darrion Louis Saint Lucia Information Communication Technology (ICT)
LinkUp Kenna Questelles George

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Information Communication Technology (ICT)
The Two Aces Lou-anne Mauricette Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Zénaïde Aromatherapy Zanda Desir Saint Lucia Manufacturing
Mec Designs Mauisa Carbon Antigua and Barbuda Manufacturing
T & A Household Decor Amy Antoine Saint Lucia Manufacturing
Adroit Tonnie Pierre Grenada Agribusiness
Cronneit's Forest Bows Denny Cronneit Grenada Manufacturing
Flirt Cocktails Hyacinth Richardson Saint Kitts and Nevis Agribusiness & Manufacturing
Mangal Trading Incorporation Nila Mangal Saint Lucia Agribusiness
Akata Farms Bevon Chadel Charles Grenada Agribusiness
My Crown Of Curls Ranique John Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Agribusiness & Manufacturing
Emerald Solar and Wind Ltd Nicholas Sander Montserrat Renewable Energy
Caribi Dreams Mr. Maurice  John Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Renewable Energy

About Caribbean Export

Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Export’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic alliances.

More information about Caribbean Export

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#Coronavirus - EU coordinates assistance to alleviate stock shortages on Dutch Caribbean islands

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Following a request for assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the EU is co-ordinating the delivery of assistance to six Dutch Caribbean Islands.

Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarčič said: “The coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole of Europe and beyond. Thanks to the offer from the Netherlands, islands in the Caribbean will be better equipped to face the spread of the virus. Our Emergency Response Coordination Centre continues working 24/7 to support member states.”

The Netherlands offered medical equipment, tests, personal protective equipment, ventilators and medications. All items have been accepted and are being delivered via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to Curaçao, Bonaire, Aruba, Sint Maarten, Saint Eustatius and Saba islands by air and sea transport. Some of the assistance has already reached the islands, and more is due to arrive soon.

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