BRIDGETOWN, Barbados: Compete Caribbean has extended the deadline for entrepreneurs and businesses in the Caribbean and the Diaspora to submit their grant applications for up to US$100,000 in funding to develop their innovative business projects. The revised deadline is July 31.
Compete Caribbean, the private sector development program jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), has announced that its previous May 31 deadline to the Caribbean Idea Marketplace has been extended by another two months.
Caribbean Idea Marketplace is a business competition platform designed to encourage local and Diaspora entrepreneurs to forge partnerships around projects that have the potential to generate employment and economic opportunities in the Caribbean region. The program, launched on March 1, also seeks to promote entrepreneurship, transfer knowledge and create learning networks.
“We extended the program because we would like to give Caribbean and diaspora entrepreneurs and businesses every opportunity to participate,” says Melissa Martinez-Nadal, Caribbean Idea Marketplace Coordinator for Compete Caribbean. “Though we have had a great deal of interest in the program thus far, we recognized that there were still many out there who need a bit more time to develop their projects. (It) is our hope that this additional time will allow those who have registered to participate but who have yet to complete their applications to do so, as well as make it easier for others who are interested but who felt they could not meet the original deadline to become involved.”
To be eligible to apply, entrepreneurs and companies must submit a project that is the result of a partnership between a local and a Caribbean Diaspora entrepreneur or business owner. The business to be developed must be legally registered or intended to be established in any of the 15 eligible Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM) countries. The Diaspora partner must be a citizen or legal resident of the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, and demonstrate a relevant connection or experience in the Caribbean. And the projects must have export potential, encourage employment, be environmentally sound and gender inclusive.
The program’s estimated value is US$40-million, of which DFID and CIDA contributed US$32.55-million. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in collaboration with the Caribbean Development Bank.
Compete Caribbean provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region.
Compete Caribbean supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries.