News & Events

  • Call to entrepreneurs: Are you seeking Capital to fund your project? “Grow with the Crowd”!

    06 Oct, 2015

    Six things we learned from Accelerate Caribbean’s webinar on crowdfunding

    By Tassia Stewart on September 26, 2015

    ‘Chart your own path!’ ‘Don’t follow company!’ as we say in the Caribbean. Who hasn’t been taught to try being different, innovative, to differentiate from the crowd?

    Yet what about raising your game thanks to the crowd? Crowdfunding is an increasingly popular method of raising capital for your business and projects by engaging your entrepreneurial ecosystem.

    Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture by raising money from a large number of people (a crowd), typically via the internet. Your success depends on your ability to build popularity, and to act as an inspirational entrepreneur enticing the stakeholders’ community to support your project.

    Ms. A. Cecile Watson[1], the Caribbean’s own crowdfunding evangelist, encouraged us to go with the crowd, as she led Accelerate Caribbean’s webinar ‘How to win a crowdfunding?’ on Wednesday September 16, 2015. This webinar was the first in a four-part series put on by Accelerate Caribbean to engage various topics of interest to entrepreneurs over the next 12 months. Sixty-six captivated participants from across the entire Caribbean entrepreneurial community joined the webinar and Cecile did a phenomenal job explaining the ins and outs of crowd-funding as a means of raising capital.

    Here are five takeaways that could help you boosting your project:

    1. Crowdfunding works! Yes! From the Jamaican bobsleigh team raising funds for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, to Jamaican broadcaster Patria-Kaye Aarons raising capital for her candy company, Sweetie, crowdfunding is a proven and realistic way to raise funds for your business venture or project.

     

    1. Be ready to pitch! Just as you would make a pitch to angel investors in a boardroom, you should be prepared to tell the crowd why you need their hard-earned money and what you will do with it.

     

    1. Female Business leaders are almost 10 times more successful in raising capital with online platforms than with traditional banks and five times more successful compared to their venture capital investments. Wow, crowdfunding is providing better options for women entrepreneurs. How encouraging!

     

    1. All Crowdfunding platforms and campaigns are not the same! Under ‘keep it all’ campaigns, all pledged funds are handed over to the project whilst under ‘all or nothing’ campaigns the project will only get the funds if meeting a pre-set performance target. Funding models can additionally vary, from lending based models to donations based, equity based and rewards based models. The diversity of existing strategies and opportunities require entrepreneurs to conduct research and wisely choose the approach that best matches their objectives!

     

    1. You cannot run a successful crowdfunding campaign without Social Media! Social Media is how entrepreneurs find and connect with potential friends and investors and measure the potential reach of their business. So engage in the online world and build your crowd from now!

     

    Good luck to our innovators and entrepreneurs working to pitch their crowdfunding campaigns to grow their businesses and create homegrown jobs and opportunities. Follow this link to revisit Cecile’s crowdfunding webinar.

     

    Accelerate Caribbean is a Business Incubation and Training program designed by infoDev (the World Bank Group) as part of its Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), funded by the Government of Canada. The project is implemented by IMC Worldwide Ltd in partnership with Koltai & Co, UWI Consulting, and BCSI, with a focus on increasing business enablers’ capacity to innovate and scale-up their service offering to entrepreneurs through a tailored package of training and mentorship.

    IMC Worldwide is a UK based international development consultancy with over 50 years’ experience managing complex programs addressing the world’s foremost international development challenges.

     

    [1] Cecile Watson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Pitch & Choose, the Caribbean’s first native crowdfunding platform. Her impressive career in business and finance informed her crowdfunding experience which has taken her from the Caribbean to North America, Africa and back.

  • First ever OECS Business Solutions Think Tank + Hackathon a success

    17 Sep, 2015

    Basseterre, St. Kitts and Nevis  (August 27, 2015) –  By all accounts the first ever OECS Business Solutions Think Tank and Hackathon, held 13 -15 August, spearheaded by the ECCB, Quintessence Consulting and eCaribbean Ltd, was a success.

    After less than 48 hours of brainstorming, idea formulation and coding with guidance from mentors representing the top echelons of the OECS private and public sector IT community, the eleven teams comprising IT students, teachers, and other IT technocrats as well as entrepreneurs and thought leaders from across the eight countries of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) demoed their prototype applications to a panel consisting of 13 judges from the ECCU.

    The judges evaluated the prototypes against four categories:

    1. User Experience and  Design
    2. Innovation
    3. Impact Potential and Sustainability, and
    4. Sharing Resource/Collaboration

    WINNERS

    First prize went to DigiCrops, Montserrat.  The team amassed a total of 179 points.

    Digicrops is an online marketplace for farmers to sell their goods to buyers.  Farmers can take a picture of their produce insert the required info and then it will be viewed by buyers who can purchase the produce.

    The objective is to simplify the process of selling vegetables and other crops in the Caribbean by connecting farmers directly to buyers. The data analysis and other statistical support that will be provided to farmers to create added value that has the potential to enhance the planning and competiveness of farmers who use the app.
    The team is comprised of 5 members: Dr. Samuel Joseph; Manish Valechha; Jhovan Daniel; Dexter Small and Enver Browne and  Mentors:  Francois Sharmaine and Felicia Linch.

    The team will be awarded with aXCD$3,500 prize fund for the continuing development of their product, provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank

    Second prize went to Clink (Caribbean Link), Antigua and Barbuda. The team amassed a total of 139 points.

    Clink is a one stop marketplace for Caribbean businesses and consumers to link up with each other and the wider world.

    The application seeks to address the many varying challenges and pressures facing SMEs (small and medium enterprises) within the OECS and across the wider Caribbean, particularly inter-island trade.

    The team is comprised of 6 members: Elijah James, Julianne Jarvis, Rawle Punter, Dirk Agard, Garrick Stevens and St. Claire Henry and Mentor: Telojo ‘Telly’ Valerie Onu.

    The team will be awarded with a XCD$2,500 prize fund for the continuing development of their product, provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

    Third prize went to EdConnector.ai, AnguillaThe team amassed a total of 138 points.

    EdConnector.ai is a mobile chat application that allows teachers to engage in direct dialogue with the parents of their students. Teachers can update parents on the learning progress of their student children, identify areas requiring improvement and notify parents of any issues related to the child’s academic life at the school.

    The team is comprised of 6 members: Rebecca Haskins, Danielle Henry, Khonn Hazell- Fleming, Kenvis Gumbs, Jose Vanterpool and Christoph Pradel andMentor: Ardin Richardson.

    The team will be awarded with a XCD$1,000 prize fund or the continuing development of their product, provided by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.


    BUSINESS ACCELERATION

    In addition to the prize awards, the ECCB, Quintessence Consulting and eCaribbean Ltd. will work with the mentors and judges to provide support to all the eleven teams to catalyse the development of their prototype applications into viable products.  The event organisers will also serve as catalysts to support the formation of an e-forum for the participants and encourage their participation in other hackathons outside of the OECS region.  These initiatives are expected to support and nurture participants’ prowess in application development.

    The prize giving ceremony will take place at the end of September 2015.

    JUDGES

    Anguilla

    • Larry Franklyn Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Infrastructure,  Communications and Utilities
      Antigua and Barbuda
    • Hewlette Fearon, Technical Research Officer and Project Administrator, Ministry of Telecommunications, Science and Technology

    Commonwealth of Dominica

    • Marie Marlon, Business Development Officer, OECS, Competitive Business Unit, CBU,
    • Jean Pierre, Director of ICT Unit, Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica

    Grenada

    • Christian Chu Fook, IT Professional and  Engineer
    • Chad Fraser, IT Professional, Government of Grenada

    Montserrat

    • Denzil West, IT Director, Government of Montserrat
    • Peter White, Border Security, Government of Montserrat

    Saint Lucia

    • Ian Mitchell, President, ICT Association
    • Robin Schouten, Entrepreneur and IT Professional

    St. Kitts and Nevis

    • Peter Chevozerov, Manager, Peter KN
    • Christopher Herbert, PS & Director, IT Department, Government of St. Kitts and Nevis

    St. Vincent and the Grenadines

    • Michael John, Owner and Manager, Computec Computer Services,
    • Ellsworth John, Director, Regional Integration and Diaspora Unit, St. Vincent and the Grenadines

    ORGANISERS

    About the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB)

    To maintain the stability of the EC dollar and the integrity of the banking system in order to facilitate the balanced growth and development of member states.

    The Bank aspires to be:

    • The leading  institution for economic policy  advice
    • A model for management in  the ECCU
    • An advocate for the ECCU’s  regionalization initiatives

    Quintessence Consulting Inc.

    Quintessence Consulting Inc. also operating under the brand Diginnovate,  is a global strategic, transaction advisory and innovative management consulting services and venture advisory firm focused on providing strategic business, transformation operations, and technology, outsourcing and capital solutions for its clients in order to capitalize on their unrealized and true market value.

    e-Caribbean Limited.

    e-Caribbean Limited is a media development and  management company with over seven years’ experience in the interactive and creative  media industry. While we provide a number of solutions, our primary offerings entail web site development, web hosting, management and marketing.

    Mr. Russel Williams

    Mr. Russel Williams, Consultant, IT Facility is an  IT Professional and Consultant for more than 20 years and a business owner  since 1998 in developed and developing markets.

    For more information please visit us on:

    Twitter – #oecsthinktank #innovatethenext

    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thinktankhackathon

    Hackathon Portal : http://oecsthinktankhackathon.devpost.com/

     

     

  • UWI Consulting working to build business and Gov’t capacity

    20 Aug, 2015

    UWI Consulting supports the idea that Caribbean firms must build capacity and increase efficiency to compete with companies of various sizes across the globe.

    We have worked with projects in sectors such as agriculture, creative industries, education and justice to ensure performance and increase competitiveness to influence a greater level of social inclusion and wealth creation.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation: how to save on projects in tough times

    20 Aug, 2015

    Limited resources often lead to more creativity and closer management of funds allocated for projects.

    Effective Monitoring and Evaluation ensures that projects implemented achieve the desired results with maximum efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness. In this regard organisations are encouraged to use such monitoring and evaluation services that conform to global standards and which are conducted by experienced professionals.

    That is the UWI Consulting way.

  • UWIC Consultants know the Caribbean well

    20 Aug, 2015

    UWI Consulting (UWIC) Consultants know the Caribbean intimately and can provide practical solutions to complex issues affecting Caribbean people and nations.

    UWIC has immediate access to specialised knowledge across UWI’s three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and also 42 ‘Open-Campus’ centres serving 16 countries across the English-Speaking Caribbean and therefore has the ability to harness high quality consultants and professionals to deliver tailor-made strategies to our clients.

    Additionally it uses its consortia of agreements to access expertise of professionals and other consulting firms from around the world, thereby leveraging global perspective to its service offering.

  • UWIC is strong on Global Partnerships

    17 Aug, 2015

    UWIC has strong global and regional partnerships and as such we work with a diverse community of consultants and trust our partners for referrals where the skill-set for specific project is not immediately available through our database.

    We support our consultants with high calibre research assistants drawn from within and outside the university.

    Whether Caribbean, North America or Europe we match our consultants appropriately with the areas of expertise.

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