Other | October 16, 2014

GEW Poised to Unlock Regional Potential of Caribbean

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The Caribbean is a thriving region of local initiatives, events and organizations that are working towards empowering and inspiring new generations through entrepreneurship. One such initiative is the Annual Caribbean Sustainable Livelihoods Conference taking place in Antigua on October 27 - 29, 2014. Hosted jointly by the GEW hosts in St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua, the conference will act as a soft-launch of GEW Caribbean.

GEW’s reach in the region continues to grow with the addition of new host organizations in countries such as Belize, Bahamas and Grenada. The Netherlands Antilles is also in talks to join the GEW network so watch this space for an official announcement soon.

Two of GEW’s strongest allies in the Caribbean, Youth Business International and Junior Achievement Americas, play a key role in driving the entrepreneurial agenda in the region.

Youth Business International, a global partner of GEW, helps young people to start and grow their own businesses and create employment. In the Caribbean, four GEW host organizations—those representing Barbados, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago—are part of the Youth Business International Network.

Junior Achievement Americas has two official GEW hosts in the Caribbean, in Jamaica and in Honduras, but it also provides support to GEW hosts as partners as well as Advisory Board Members in other countries. Junior Achievement Americas recently launched a new initiative called The Junior Achievement Program for the Eastern Caribbean (JAPEC) (www.japec.org). The program aims to build on the established youth livelihood development initiatives of USAID in the region and address issues of youth unemployment in five countries: Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis and St. Lucia.

Antigua

In the lead-up to GEW, Gilbert Agricultural & Rural Development Center (GARD Center), the official GEW host organization in Antigua, is accelerating the entrepreneurship buzz in Antigua with a number of events and initiatives. Last week, Antigua celebrated National Youth Week, an event where a number of young entrepreneurs showcased their products at the GARD Center’s Multipurpose Center.

Gard Center is also the regional partner of the Caribbean Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods, the official GEW host organization in St. Kitts and Nevis and together they are hosting the Annual Caribbean Sustainable Livelihoods through Entrepreneurship Conference which will take place in St. John’s, Antigua October 27 – 29, 2014. This year’s theme for the conference is “Regionalism and Sustainable Economic Development.

The conference will include the soft launch of GEW 2014 as well as the launch of Caribbean Entrepreneurship Week. Jonathan Ortmans, president of GEW Global will participate in the event via Skype and will do an online session on “GEW’s Impact on Creating Entrepreneurial Citizens”.

The Caribbean Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods has signed a regional MOU with a global partner for the event that covers 10 Caribbean countries. For more information on the conference participation and agenda please contact Marcia Brandon via mbrandon@coeslye.org

Barbados

This year’s GEW in Barbados is gearing up to be a very memorable one. Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), the official GEW host organization in Barbados, is ready for GEW with their new GEW campaign theme: “Increasing partnership, Improving Networking” which was officially launched on September 19. At the launch, Hon. Stephen A. Lashley, M.P. remarked that entrepreneurship was not just about innovating; it is also an opportunity to encourage and inspire people to invent.

GEW Barbados has signed up 12 implementing partners and five financial partners thus far. Currently BYBT and their GEW partners have finalized 22 events ranging from presentations and talk shows to a fitness expo and training in healthy lifestyles for GEW Barbados. Barbados will also be celebrating women in entrepreneurship this November, with their ambassador Donna Every, an author and an entrepreneur.

In order to sign up for GEW Barbados as a partner, please contact Cardell Fergusson atcfergusson@youthbusiness.bb

Dominica

The official GEW host organization in Dominica, the Dominica Youth Business Trust, has signed up an impressive list of partners for GEW Dominica including Young Entrepreneurs, the Government of Dominica, the local media (television, radio and print), secondary schools, Dominica State College, Youth Development Division and various financial institutions.

The flagship events for GEW Dominica include the Annual Trade Show and Exhibition including a keynote speech from the Minister for Youth and the Youth Forum. The GEW media campaign includes radio programs that highlight the work of the Dominica Youth Business Trust throughout GEW.

Jamaica

Junior Achievement (JA) Jamaica, the official GEW host organization in Jamaica, is ready for GEW with a new campaign theme “Entrepreneurship: Needs vs. Opportunity”.

In terms of flagship events, three regional GEW fairs around the island supported by local governments will feature young entrepreneurs and give them the opportunity to showcase and sell their products to an audience of over 1500 visitors.

GEW Jamaica will include a series of panel discussions with business leaders to review challenges and opportunities and with tertiary institutions discuss the shift in entrepreneurial funding. Around 2,000 people are expected to attend.

An island-wide business model competition for various age groups will also take place during GEW Jamaica with 500 expected participants. Primary school and high school students have their own competition as part of GEW with the DIY Entrepreneurship Challenge. Alphie Mullings-Aiken, president of Junior Achievement Jamaica, expects to have as many as 20,000 students to take part in the competition.

St. Kitts and Nevis

The Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CQESL), the official GEW host organization in St. Kitts and Nevis headed by Brandon, is behind the impressive regional conference mentioned in detail above.

In addition to the regional conference and launch that will take place just before GEW, CQESL is planning a virtual regional launch on November 14 and a regional breakfast to celebrate entrepreneurship during GEW.

Other GEW events in St Kitts and Nevis include entrepreneurship presentations across schools and colleges in the country and meetings with policy makers. Events targeting entrepreneurs include networking events for creative entrepreneurs, lectures on “Marketing for Business Success for Entrepreneurs” as well as a workshop called “Know Your Numbers Cold – Accounting for the Entrepreneur’s Soul”.

Trinidad and Tobago

During GEW, Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago, the official GEW host organization in Trinidad and Tobago, plans to formally launch, a National Entrepreneurial Eco-System that will bring together all the entrepreneurial stakeholders for more efficient networking within the ecosystem. Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago have also begun a series of weekly features in one of the major daily newspapers to raise more awareness about their activities, as well as to showcase the work and initiatives of key stakeholders in the ecosystem.

The Caribbean as a region holds a lot of potential for much needed regional co-operation initiatives to advance entrepreneurship, and the success of GEW in the Caribbean very much relies on all the stakeholders working together efficiently, to unlock this potential.

Image Source: Slack12