Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Accelerate Caribbean to upgrade skills set of 10 business support agencies

Published:Thursday | April 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Providers of business support services across 14 Caribbean countries have been invited by the World Bank to compete for the chance to upgrade their business development skills.
The programme dubbed Accelerate Caribbean is being executed through infoDev, an innovation and entrepreneurship division within the World Bank Group.
Up to 10 applicants will win a spot in the 18-month programme that focuses on upgrading the skills and capacity of business enablers drawn from Antigua & Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts-Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago.
Business enablers are groups or organisations that provide training and support services to start-ups and entrepreneurs - for example, a business incubation clinic.
In each territory, top contenders will be selected for participation in a 12-month business Incubation clinic where each will be matched with an “internationally renowned entrepreneurship mentor” who will provide one-on-one coaching and advice, peer-to-peer learning sessions, networking opportunities and exposure to new models and best practices of accelerating early-stage enterprises’ growth, programme literature states.
Applicants for Accelerate Caribbean are expected to be existing organisations or “new consortia of organisations which provide entrepreneurs and start-ups with various types of support and motivation, taking the form of training; seed capital; professional advisory services; technology and workspace; or events and networking opportunities.”
Competitors will be judged by management experience and performance, among criteria, based on responses provided in their online applications, says Tassia Stewart, communication consultant with Accelerate Caribbean. The applicants will also be assessed on capacity to provide services to early stage companies and basic business services to start-ups, as well as level of experience in start-up development, among other criteria, said Stewart.
Applications are currently open at acceleratecaribbean.com. A three-member panel of judges will review the entries and pick the top 10 companies. The selections are expected to be finalised by August 2016.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com