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Vincentian takes second place in the Caribbean Entrepreneur challenge

Vincentian takes second place in the Caribbean  Entrepreneur challenge
Kenna Questelles George receiving her cash prize at the Caribbean Entrepreneur Challenge from Phillipe Jock, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Martinique

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A Vincentian has emerged in second place among young Caribbean entrepreneurs who have been battling it out over the past five months to secure a place in the finals of the Caribbean Entrepreneur Challenge (CEC).

The top 10 presentations were selected to attend workshops on marketing, management, creativity, innovation and pitching to help develop enhanced business plans. The five most realistic innovative projects were then invited to pitch their ideas to a Caribbean panel in the final, where they could win a prize of between €1,000 to €10,000.

Nineteen-year-old Sophie Klein from Saint Lucia grabbed the top prize at the CEC final held on Wednesday June 5 in Trois-Ilets, Martinique for her business plan to transform education through incorporating greater virtual reality and gaming. The top prize of €10,000 and technical guidance will be used to kickstart her business. With her project titled “JOIE” and in keeping with the ethos of her school Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, “The cure for poverty is not money but knowledge,” she set out a business plan that unlocked the utilisation of virtual reality and gaming to enhance the learning experience.

Kenna Questelles from St Vincent and the Grenadines placed second with her project Linkup, an online directory of restaurants, menus and events. In third place was Leona Melius from Saint Lucia, who presented Lily’s Healthy Eats – an organic and local food delivery service for schools and workplaces.

Fourth was Tehillah Bannis from Dominica who offered cosmetics products that are safe and of good quality for the skin, with her project Herbie Care. In fifth place was Miah Scott from Grenada with a range of naturally made skin moisturisers and hair products under the name Shea Miah’s Way.

The CEC is a component of the Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean (TEECA) project, hosted by the Martinique Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the CTM, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and supported by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), with funding by the European Regional Development Fund through the INTERREG Programme.

CEC was an initiative which aimed to raise awareness amongst the younger Caribbean people on regional cooperation and to encourage entrepreneurial innovation. Students initially applied to the challenge online where they gave a presentation of their business idea in one of the following areas: fashion, agro transformation, ICT, environment or music.

“Caribbean Export is pleased to support a project which encourages young people to be innovative and develop solutions for their immediate communities. We are looking forward to seeing how these business ideas turn in to reality” expressed Gayle Gollop, Special Advisor – Trade and Legal Affairs, Caribbean Export.

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