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U.S. Embassy launches $1.35m Entrepreneurship Initiative

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The Embassy of the United States of America to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean has announced a new US$1.35m entrepreneurship initiative with the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus and Indiana University.{{more}}

This announcement was made on Thursday, February 24.

The multi-year ‘Job Opportunity for Business Start-up’ (JOBS) initiative is aimed at supporting the growth of an entrepreneurial culture and diversifying the service-oriented economies of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. JOBS will be co-ordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Barbados and Eastern Caribbean and Higher Education for Development (HED).

The initiative is expected to strengthen the University of the West Indies-Cave Hill School of Business’s Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship as the hub for innovative business training and growth in the Eastern Caribbean.

Indiana University, Bloomington, has been selected to partner with the Cave Hill School of Business under JOBS to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset in the region, through updated degree and certificate programmes focused on alternative energy initiatives, high-tech ventures, social entrepreneurship, and entrepreneurship in cultural industries.

USAID’s Representative in Barbados James Goggin expressed his delight for the programme.

He said: “A keystone of USAID’s cooperation programme for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean is to advance economic development through entrepreneurship. We are excited and honored to be forming this new partnership with the University of the West Indies and its Cave Hill School of Business and Indiana University, which will combine the energies of our three institutions to address the challenge of creating new business opportunities in Barbados and its neighbouring countries, especially for Caribbean young people.”

The JOBS initiative stems from a worldwide USAID effort to promote post-secondary skills training. Many technical and vocational community colleges and higher education institutions in the United States have business schools and centers that are actively linked to industry and corporations.

“So often, we hear about youth building our future. The JOBS initiative is an investment in that idea. Education, coupled with practical internships and mentoring from the business community, can nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of students and young working professionals,” said HED Executive Director Tully Cornick.

This award of US$1,350,000 is funded by the U.S. Government, through USAID/Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, and managed by HED.