A multi-donor private sector development program financed by

Compete Caribbean and Branson Centre partner to boost entrepreneurship in the region

Compete Caribbean Program (CCP) and The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to partner and establish the Branson Centre Compete Caribbean Entrepreneurship Initiative.
The Initiative will combine the Centre’s effective methodology of fostering entrepreneurs into successful businesses and CCP’™s technical knowledge and expertise of the region to establish an innovative network that supports young Caribbean entrepreneurs.
The joint Initiative between CCP and the Branson Centre will comprise four elements: A regional mentorship network, an e-learning training platform, Entrepreneurship 101 weekend workshops in Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago and a Business Pitch Competition to access investment.
The regional network will consist of renowned business men and women providing support and advice to selected entrepreneurs. The e-learning training platform will provide wide access to knowledge on key areas of business management. At the weekend workshops, participants will engage in interactive sessions that deal with the fundamentals of how to run a business.
The final element is the Business Pitch Competition, in which high potential entrepreneurs from the weekend workshops will be selected to pitch their business plans to a panel of international and regional investors.
“ÂœAt the Branson Centre we truly believe that entrepreneurship is the engine of growth for the Caribbean economy. We are excited to partner with Compete Caribbean in supporting the development of entrepreneurs throughout the region,” said Lisa Lake, Chief Entrepreneurship Officer at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship -“ Caribbean.
“ÂœCompete Caribbean is extremely excited to be partnering with the Branson Centre. We believe that the youth in the Caribbean region are an untapped resource which has tremendous potential to contribute positively to private sector development and ultimately economic growth. The partnership represents for us a chance to collaborate with global leaders in entrepreneurial business development, to bring to the region a new methodology on how to foster young entrepreneurs,” said Claudia Stevenson Executive Director (a.i) Compete Caribbean.
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship -“ Caribbean, based in Montego Bay, Jamaica, was launched by Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, using funding from lead partner Virgin Holidays, the UK’™s leading long haul holiday company last September. It is a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs that offers practical business skills, access to coaches to offer guidance, mentors to share their experiences and in the future plans to work with partners to develop financing opportunities to enable growth. It supports the development of small and growing businesses and job creation in the Caribbean with an emphasis on tourism related businesses with strong financial, social and environmental credentials. The first Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship was established in 2006 in
Johannesburg, South Africa as a unique launch pad for bold and aspiring entrepreneurs to create successful businesses.
Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region.
The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency
(CIDA), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Its estimated value is US$40.0 million, of which DFID and CIDA contributed US$32.55 million.
Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank.
For more information on Compete Caribbean, visit our website at www.competecaribbean.org, or like
us at: www.facebook.com/CompeteCaribbean.
Crystal Drakes
Project Development Officer
Compete Caribbean
Mervue House,
Marine Gardens, Hastings,
Christ Church, Barbados BB14047
Tel: 246 227-8539 -| Fax: 246 429 8869
E-mail: cdrakes@iadb.org