“As green entrepreneurs, you will certainly become special soldiers, equipped with the skills and training to impact change in your respective communities. I am truly pleased that you are committing your innovation and “sweat equity”, to find solutions for some of the challenges facing the OECS region. You have a major role to play in shifting the behavior of our society towards a more sustainable future.”
The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Director General, Dr. Frank Rijsberman, welcomed the participants and highlighted the continued support GGGI for green businesses.
“Innovation and green employment comes from small and medium enterprises that people like you, set up. We believe that we can accelerate growth and development of such companies through technical advice and indeed through some mentoring and through some financial support.”
During the 12-week course of the Greenpreneurs Incubator Programme, the selected participants will benefit from mentorship, and virtual training from experts across the region to develop their entrepreneurial skills and build their capacity to develop green business models. The participants will also have the opportunity to participate in a pitch competition for USD $10,000 grants to support their business development plans.
The programme is being implemented by GGGI in collaboration with the OECS Commission with funding from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). The programme is also partnering with national business support organisations across the region with the goal of strengthening the regional ecosystem for green entrepreneurship.
The Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative will also feature an Accelerator Programme that will be launched in the coming months to target high-potential green enterprises in the growth stage. This programme will offer interest-free loans in amounts up to USD$50,000, as well as provide participants with structured links investors.
Both programmes will prioritize women entrepreneurs and green job creation for women and youth, and entrepreneurs in both programmes will have the opportunity to be selected to participate in an exchange visit to Qatar to meet and dialogue with Qatari entrepreneurs in the green sector in 2023. Additionally, the programmes will further support in building the capacity of local institutions supporting green entrepreneurship at the national level. This will lay the groundwork for the establishment of a permanent regional innovation center to support entrepreneurship in the region in collaboration with governments and regional organizations.
Here are the 2021 Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs Incubator Programme Participants: