The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and the Caribbean Export Development Agency last Wednesday launched a technical assistance and coaching programme that aims to strengthen the entrepreneurial and leadership skills of 14 young business owners.
With funding from the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme, the initiative will:
Introducing the new service, Caribbean Exports’ Services Specialist Allyson Francis noted, “Youth are the future. Their businesses are a critical foundation for sustainable economic growth in the region and so we must invest in them and their businesses.”
“Caribbean Export implemented a similar coaching programme for women-owned businesses which was very successful, and so I encourage the participants to leverage the knowledge and expertise of the coaches and to build a network between one another,” she continued.
From six territories — Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines — 14 companies from both the services and goods-producing sectors received the call-up to the technical assistance and coaching programme through their respective national business services organisations and the “OECS 30 under 30” programme. The training programme will last for three months.
As a result of their selection, the entrepreneurs will benefit from a highly experienced team of coaches in various areas including business plan development, operations management, sales, marketing and branding, human resource management, financial analysis, product development and quality assurance, among others.
In addition, the coaching programme includes the completion of a comprehensive analysis of each beneficiary company and the development of unique strategies that will address specific issues.
“The initiative forms part of a broader set of actions being developed and pursued by the OECS Commission to foster entrepreneurship across the region including strengthening the capacity of entrepreneurs and their enterprises, the ecosystem and the legislative, policy and regulatory framework for entrepreneurship in the region,” senior technical specialist and officer in charge of the OECS Competitive Business Unit (CBU) Ricardo James said.
The OECS and Caribbean Export have reaffirmed their intentions to continue to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean through complementary projects which will be launched in the future.