Call for Cluster for Proposals FAQs

1. What does the call for cluster proposal include:

1. The guidelines on the application process, timeline, eligibility, etc.

2. The application form – which must be submitted online via

3. The cluster datasheet to facilitate the collection of information about the project and organisations involved.

2. How can I get updates on the timeline and deadlines?

Make sure to sign-up to the newsletter and visit often for any updates on the timeline below.

3. What entities are eligible?

The following organizations are eligible to receive support from Compete Caribbean: private firms, both indigenous enterprises and international firms operating in the Caribbean, consortia led by private firms, including Universities, NGOs and community-based organisations. The entities that participate in a cluster project can be from one or multiple nations.

4. What are the eligibility criteria?

The eligibility criteria are as follows:

(i) Applicants must be private formally registered companies or business chambers or associations.

(ii) They must be located in the territory of the countries of the Caribbean

(iii) They must have been operating during the past year (12 months).

(iv) They may not have enforceable tax or benefits debt.

(v) The applicant must present documentation accrediting its legal status and validity.

(vi) The applicant must formally apply to the Program using the procedures and forms specified by the latter.

(vii) The applicant must present all required documentation.

(viii) They must submit a written letter expressing their commitment to finance the business contribution and accept the financial conditions of the contributions.

(ix) They must be willing to draft the contracts required by the Program.

(x) They must be willing to provide all information required by the Program for its monitoring activities and the close of projects as well as the evaluation of results and impact and audits that are carried out by the Program administration or parties assigned to said task.

(xi) Any additional non-refundable support to be received by the partners in the project must have been stated prior to the signing of an agreement with CC and agreed as a part of the CCIP.

5. What can and cannot be funded through the program?

The following activities can be financed by the Program:

(i) Organizational and/or institutionalization of clusters, including:
– Coordinating their formation
– Legal advice regarding the creation of the alliance
– The process of hiring an alliance manager

(ii) Expenses associated with the operation of a management unit for the cluster:
– Remunerations
– Office rental
– Purchase of basic equipment (furniture, computers, telephony, etc.)
– Basic services (water, telephone, light, electricity, mail, etc.)
– Staff travel expenses

(iii) Specialized consultancies, advising services and studies

(iv) Technical assistance and training in areas such as:
– Process and product development
– Improvement of quality and design of products and services
– Improvement in commercial, financial, environmental and strategic management
– Assessment and implementation of quality systems
– Access to markets and market intelligence, including attending international fairs and participation in international missions

(v) Attending fairs, expos, workshops and fora

(vi) Legal expenses associated with the project

(vii) Shipping and importing of samples

(viii) Acquisition of books and specialized journals

(ix) Generation of knowledge

The following activities may not be financed through the Program:

(i) Payment of companies’ debts and taxes

(ii) Operating expenses

(iii) Working capital for the operation of the companies

(iv) Activities that the applicant regularly implements with its providers.

Additionally, the CCPF does not grant funding for projects or companies involved in the production, trade or use of products, substances or activities set forth in the list below:

1. Those that are illegal according to the laws and regulations of the host country, or pursuant to international conventions and treaties ratified by this

2. Weapons and ammunition

3. Tobacco & Alcohol

4. Gambling, casinos and equivalent companies

5. Animals and wild plants or products derived from them are regulated in accordance with the convention on international trade in endangered species of wild flora and fauna (cites)

6. Radioactive materials

7. Not caked asbestos fibres

8. Projects or forestry operations that are not consistent with the environmental policy and observance of safeguards of the bank (document gn-2208-20)

9. Compounds of bifenilopoliclorado (pcbs)

10. Pharmaceuticals products subject to phase-out or international ban

11. Pesticides and herbicides subject to phase-out or international ban

12. Ozone-depleting substances subject to phasing out or international ban

13. Fishing in the maritime environment with drag nets exceeding 2.5 km in length.

14. Transboundary movements of waste and waste products except non-toxic waste intended for recycling

15. Persistent organic pollutants

16. Breach of the fundamental principles of workers and rights at work

6. What is the timeline?


5 Sept. 2017Announcement – Call for cluster proposals
8 Sept. 2017Email to express interest in the Q&A session and receive the link/calling instructions
13 Sept. 2017 11am-noonQuestions and Answers (Q&A) session on the application and selection process.
15 Sept. 2017Email to express interest in receiving constructive feedback on your application and receive the email of the independent consultant.
Note: The purpose is to increase the quality of proposals received. This process will not affect the competitive process for selecting the projects to be financed.

2-20 Oct. 2017One-on-one feedback process between the consultant(s) and the clusters applying.
31 Oct. before midnightProject Concept Note (PCN) of maximum 5-pages submitted online with the information required, along with four appendices:
1. Cluster Project Details (objectives and activities)
2. Cluster member details
3. Signed Letter of commitment
4. Evidence of legal status of the lead institution
Optional information can include:
– A 5-minute video pitch for your project with the most important details about the product or process, its potential for export and it impact on your country.
– A Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis or other relevant information.

15 Nov. 2017Announcement of short-listed projects. Additional information may be requested as part of the due diligence process.
20-30 Nov. (TBD)Investment Panel. Live presentation before a panel of independent and diverse judges expert in private sector or economic development.
Dec. 2017Announcement of selected projects for funding, subject to compliant delivery of the Cluster Capacity Improvement Plan, partnership agreement, counterpart financing, etc.
Jan. 2018Contracting agreement.
Feb-April 2018Development of the Cluster Capacity Improvement Plan (CCIP) with the support of a dedicated consultant.
April – …Implementation
May 2020Closing

7. What is an anchor firm of a lead institution?

Eligible anchor organisations include cluster management offices, destination management offices, industry associations, trade and investment authorities; regional association organisations; small business development centers; NGOs and universities.

8. I am a service based entity (tourism, music, creative industries, etc), would I qualify for support?

Yes. According to the WTO’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the modes of supply for international services include the below four modes:

(1) Cross-border supply: services flows from the territory of one country into the territory of another country (i.e. banking, architectural services transmitted by ICT or mail; charges for the use of intellectual property)

(2) Consumption abroad: refers to situations where a service consumer (i.e. tourist or patient) moves into another country’s territory to obtain a service

(3) Commercial presence: a service supplier of one country establishes territorial presence in another country to provide a service

(4) Presence of Natural Persons: persons of one country entering the territory of another country to supply a service (i.e. accountants, doctors, teachers, musicians performing live in another country, etc.)

9. What is the value of the grant being offered by the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF)?

The maximum amount funded by CCPF is USD$400,000. 20% (minimum) of the total budget for the Cluster Capacity Improvement Plan (CCIP) must be financed by the firms in the cluster – half of which can be provided in kind. For example:

Total CCIP budget:USD$500,000
Amount funded by CCPF:USD$400,000
Cash contributed by the cluster:USD$50,000
Estimated value of contribution by the cluster in kind (eg: staff time, vehicle, etc.):USD$50,000