WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) is excited to celebrate one year of impact from Startup Huddle St. Lucia!
On November 14th 2018, SLUDTERA partnered with GEN to launch Startup Huddle St. Lucia to support entrepreneurs in the Eastern Caribbean Island in developing their pitching skills and discovering solutions to business challenges.
The unique program, designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs, has provided a platform for 22 entrepreneurs and students to share their challenges with the community. Some notable presenters include Johanan Dujon, founder of Algas Organics, Martin Hanna, founder of Penny Pinch, and Dawna Hyacinth & Jean Neal Fontenelle, founders of EcoCreationz.
Since launching the chapter, founder Michelle N. Samuel, has proven to be a strong leader. This month, she was promoted to becoming a Startup Huddle Ambassador to onboard and train the next generation of Huddle organizers in building local entrepreneurial ecosystems around the world.
"Startup Huddle is an opportunity of a lifetime. It has been a life-changing event. I was very confused about the challenges I was facing with my business at the beginning, but the community helped me answer questions and strengthen my business model,” a community member shared.
"Networking, problem solving, exposing opportunities... It's all here! Participate in this life changing event. The next life changed may even be YOURS,” said another regular attendee.
Michelle N. Samuel explained that "the program has impacted so many lives of entrepreneurs, students, and business professionals. The closed-forum sessions offer one-on-one attention which is invaluable. We have exposed many people to opportunities such as the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI). Three of our past presenters applied for the program and made it to the semi-finals! 3 entrepreneurs from St. Lucia also represented the island in the US-based Youth Ambassadors Program, and GIST, to name a few notable engagements. One of our past presenters also applied to the Entrepreneurship World Cup and was selected as a Global Finalist to present his business on behalf of St. Lucia at the global finals in Saudi Arabia. What an incredible feat-- he just launched his business in March this year!"
Looking forward, Michelle hopes to seek support for the program and community. "The biggest challenge has been acquiring local financial sponsors. The benefits of Startup Huddle is recognized by our overseas financial supporters, but it's difficult to encourage local agencies that have the means to support our program. My dream is for Startup Huddle St. Lucia to become a truly foundational and supportive platform for all startups on the island."
A brighter future is hopefully in store for the island.
Register to attend their One Year Celebration and Appreciation Ceremony & Dinner here.
Check out other activities in St. Lucia during Global Entrepreneurship Week here.