DESPITE the challenges facing entrepreneurs in 2020, 14 OECS youth entrepreneurs were able to benefit from professional online business coaching and technical assistance coordinated by the OECS Competitive Business Unit and Caribbean Export Development Agency.
The four month virtual programme ended on September 30 2020 and provided opportunities for youth startups in sectors such as; Agribusiness, Agro Processing, Creative Industries, Green Technology and ICT. While most of the entrepreneurs registered for the programme before the COVID-19 pandemic started, the programme became timely in assisting the entrepreneurs to adapt to the changing environment.
The programme featured a comprehensive business diagnostics assessment along with individual coaching and technical assistance to address some of the issues identified in the diagnostic assessment. Many of the young entrepreneurs expressed their satisfaction with the programme indicating that it gave them an opportunity to clarify their vision, to develop achievable goals, to develop transformative business models and strategies.
“It has helped me to formulate a clearer business model and it helped me identify new & innovative business opportunities. The programme also helped me strategize and set smart goals so that I can have a clearer path to follow and create an action plan to achieve these goals,” Tonnie Pierre from Adroit (Grenada) said.
“It gave me the capacity to separate myself from an operator to a strategist in my business. Ensuring you take the time to work on and not just in your business, ” said Liam Sidonie from Two Aces (Saint Lucia).
According to Technical Specialist for Entrepreneurship Development at the OECS Competitive Business Unit, Kwesi Roberts, “The OECS was extremely happy to partner with Caribbean Export on this initiative, we are very focused on entrepreneurship and particularly youth entrepreneurship in the OECS. We are heartened by the innovation, maturity, passion and drive of the participants and we will continue to implement similar programes to benefit entrepreneurs across the OECS.”