By Tassia Stewart on Friday, April 15, 2016
Accelerate Caribbean is moving to boost support for local and regional startups, by advancing the training of ten Caribbean (10) business incubator managers through a study tour of Orlando, USA and Toronto, Canada from April 17-23, 2016.
The study tour is the highlight of the 12-month Accelerate Caribbean Business Incubation Clinic (BIC) which began in June 2015. The aim of this business clinic is to upgrade the skill set of business incubator managers, and expand the capabilities of business incubators. Business incubators (and accelerators) are organizations that nurture and support new companies during the startup period, when they are most vulnerable.
Accelerate Caribbean is a project designed by infoDev (The World Bank Group) as part of its Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC). EPIC is a seven-year US$20M program funded by the Government of Canada that seeks to promote high-growth and sustainable enterprises throughout the Caribbean. The project is implemented by IMC Worldwide Ltd (IMC) in partnership with Koltai and Company, University of the West Indies Consulting and the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI).
Speaking on the upcoming study tour, EPIC Coordinator, Sophia Muradyan, said: “Across the Caribbean there is a groundswell in business incubation. An increasing number of startups are requiring professional business incubation and acceleration services. At the national level, many Caribbean governments now factor startup, innovation and entrepreneurship support into their economic and policy agendas.”
Muradyan argues that the Accelerate Caribbean project and study tour is timely, adding that “By effectively training business incubation managers, and facilitating their direct exposure to international best practices in business incubation, we will be helping to create a more enabling environment for small businesses.”
The week-long study tour has a 16-member delegation primarily from the current cohort of the Accelerate Business Incubation Clinic (BIC), representing Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Belize, Barbados, Guyana, Grenada, St Vincent & the Grenadines.
The tour begins on April 17, 2016 at the 30th International Business Innovation Association Conference in Orlando, Florida, where Accelerate Caribbean will host a panel on business incubation in the Caribbean. After four days, the delegation will head to Toronto, Canada, to tour the DMZ at Ryerson University (top ranked in North America and 5th in the world), as well as several of Canada’s most successful innovation hubs. While in Toronto, the mission will also host a networking event targeting Toronto’s Caribbean Diaspora business community.
The delegation returns to the region on April 24th where they are expected complete the Business Incubation Clinic and implement the newly acquired skills via entrepreneurship support programmes in their respective islands.
For additional information on Accelerate Caribbean visit http://acceleratecaribbean.com/.