An EPIC week for Caribbean women entrepreneurs

An EPIC week for Caribbean women entrepreneurs

Forty-five innovative and growth-oriented women entrepreneurs from 12 islands attended infoDev’s first Grow your Business (GyB) workshops in the Caribbean.  Held in Barbados and Jamaica over the past week, the workshops were designed to encourage creativity and innovation, and strengthen entrepreneur networks.

WINC workshop

The workshops were developed by the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC), part of infoDev’s Entrepreneurship Program in the Caribbean (EPIC) that aims to build an enabling ecosystem to foster high-growth and sustainable enterprises throughout the Caribbean.

According to Grace Kyokunda, Program Coordinator of EPIC, the purpose of the workshops was to help the entrepreneurs look more critically and innovatively at their business models. “These women are very bright and motivated, and their potential to create businesses that impact their communities is clear.  We hope that these workshops will provide them with new perspectives that help them on their journey from mind to market.” 

The workshops were based on infoDev’s Mekong Women’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, which successfully provided training to more than 40 female entrepreneurs in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos PDR. The three-day trainings provided an opportunity for select women entrepreneurs to review their current business strategy and adapt or change it for improved competitiveness.  Topics covered included innovation development, product differentiation and entrepreneurship.

"I was at a crossroads and now I am clear in my mind about where I want my business to go," said one participant.  Others appreciated the hands-on nature of the trainings. “It wasn't a workshop, it was an activity shop."

In addition to providing support to women entrepreneurs, WINC is using these workshops to test the environment and assess what tools and approaches are most effective in the Caribbean context. The program will explore holding similar workshops on other islands in the future where there is demand.To this end, a Training of Trainers workshop was also held in Barbados earlier this month to build the capacity of trainers in the region.  It included six participants from Jamaica and Barbados, who also co-trained at the GyB workshops.

To learn more about WINC and the women who attended the workshops, visit the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WomenInnovatorsNetworkCaribbean.


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