Twenty OECS startups to participate in Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative
Startup entrepreneurs from the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), sub-region will be participating in the Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative’s Greenpreneurs Incubator Programme over the next 12 weeks. This business support programme, according to a release from the OECS Secretariat, is aimed at creating green jobs through environmentally and socially driven enterprises and entrepreneurs.
OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules, in his remarks at the orientation session for the first cohort of the Greenpreneurs Incubator Programme challenged the participants to become leaders in the global climate battle.
“As green entrepreneurs, you will certainly become special soldiers, equipped with the skills and training to impact change in your respective communities. I am truly pleased that you are committing your innovation and “sweat equity”, to find solutions for some of the challenges facing the OECS region. You have a major role to play in shifting the behavior of our society towards a more sustainable future.”
The Global Green Growth Institute Director General Dr. Frank Rijsberman welcomed the participants and highlighted the continued support of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) for green businesses.
“Innovation and green employment comes from small and medium enterprises that people like you, set up,” he said. “We believe that we can accelerate growth and development of such companies through technical advice and indeed through some mentoring and through some financial support.”
During the 12-week course of the Greenpreneurs Incubator Programme, the selected participants will benefit from mentorship, and virtual training from experts across the region to develop their entrepreneurial skills and build their capacity to develop green business models. The participants will also have the opportunity to participate in a pitch competition for US$10,000 grants to support their business development plans.
The programme is being implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in collaboration with the OECS Commission with funding from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). The programme is also partnering with national business support organisations across the region with the goal of strengthening the regional ecosystem for green entrepreneurship.
The Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative will also feature an Accelerator Programme that will be launched in the coming months to target high-potential green enterprises in the growth stage. This programme will offer interest-free loans in amounts up to US$50,000, and also provide participants with structured links to investors.
Both programmes will prioritize women entrepreneurs and green job creation for women and youth, and entrepreneurs in both programmes will have the opportunity to be selected to participate in an exchange visit to Qatar to meet and dialogue with Qatari entrepreneurs in the green sector in 2023. Additionally, the programmes will further support in building the capacity of local institutions supporting green entrepreneurship at the national level. This will lay the groundwork for the establishment of a permanent regional innovation center to support entrepreneurship in the region in collaboration with governments and regional organizations.
The 2021 Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs Incubator Programme Participants are:
To learn more about this initiative, please visit Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs programmes (oecs.org), follow GGGI Caribbean on Twitter and Facebook.