Seminars geared to...

Seminars geared toward Caribbean women entrepreneurs launched

Wanting to go green in your business, but not knowing exactly how to do this? And does ‘going green’ mean running up the business operational costs?’ These were some of the issues addressed at the first open webinar organized by the Women Innovator Network in the Caribbean (WINC), an initiative of infoDev / World Bank Group and supported by the Government of Canada.

The Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) and the WINC organized the “Greening Your Business Webinar” on January 14th, 2015, geared toward growth-oriented female entrepreneurs in the Caribbean. Participant were given the opportunity to follow an online class by Jim Reid, Chairmain of Caribbean LED Lighting on the environmental and cost reduction benefits of businesses going green.

The Webinar which kicked off WINC’s 2015 outreach initiatives to provide virtual training and hands on workshops to women entrepreneurs from across the region. The first webinar was attended by entrepreneurs from The Bahamas, Dominica, St. Vincent and Jamaica.

The Webinar sought to educate participants on new technologies to reduce business costs, and provided some valuable “takeaways” including:

  • Renewable energy is affordable and easy to implement. It takes many shapes, forms, paybacks and price points.
  • You can carry out a basic energy audit of your office or home by checking and/or changing the efficiency of your appliances.
  • LED is a low hanging fruit. It is far cheaper to implement than solar PV and wind technologies.

Everton Hanson, CEO of the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) led the second presentation in the webinar and explained the center’s experience in organizing a proof of concept contest for early stage entrepreneurs. CCIC’s main focal areas are resource use efficiency, water management, sustainable agribusiness, solar energy and energy efficiency.

Mr. Everton told participants that more opportunities for grant funding would be provided through a new Proof of Concept (POC) Competition later in the year. The POC channels a pipeline of new high impact “green” ventures with excellent opportunities for commercialization. The CCIC, which recently reached its first anniversary milestone, awarded 11 Proof of Concept awards valued at US$427,000 last year. Four of the beneficiaries were women entrepreneurs.

Participants expressed favourable and encouraging comments on the first webinar.  “Please continue your great work;” ” We need you,” ‘This was great for my first webinar’; “very informative’ were among those noted.

infoDev team member Jo Edghill indicated that “we will be staging additional webinars in our efforts to further engage and strengthen relations with WINC’s regional community of women entrepreneurs.” The next webinar is set for March 18, under the theme “Building Your Digital Presence.” This webinar will include a live ‘clinic’ and discussion for participants to improve on their existing digital presence.

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