Enhancing the inno...

Enhancing the innovation ecosystem in the Caribbean

infoDev’s Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) conducted its first high-level forum for policymakers and other innovation ecosystem stakeholders in the Caribbean last week. Twenty-seven participants from 11 Caribbean countries took part in the three-day forum, which was designed to increase their understanding and know-how of the business incubation process. 

The forum capped off a month of activities by EPIC aimed at giving practical experience and best practice tips to key stakeholders active in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, including incubator managers. These sessions were aimed at improving the innovation environment for high-growth startups in CARICOM countries, and included two Grow your Business workshops for women entrepreneurs in Barbados and Jamaica.  

The forum created an open space for dialogue among policy makers and other professionals involved in entrepreneurship and business development, and provided tools and knowledge on how to plan and start business incubation activities. Topics included business incubation principles and models, planning and financing, and success factors. 

"After just two hours of training, I feel like I know who I am and what my role is in the incubator and in the ecosystem to support entrepreneurs," said Jacqueline Yearwood, Head of the Enterprise Development Department of the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority, who participated in the forum. 

Participants reported that the biggest impact that the sessions had on them referred to “seeing a bigger picture” (82% of participants), “made valuable contacts” (82%), and “having new communication approaches and skills” (73%).  

The workshop utilized infoDev’s Business Incubation Management Training Program, a first-of-its-kind methodology that draws from the lessons, models, and examples in business incubation from across the world. It consists of 12 training modules ranging from basic introductory topics designed for professionals new to business incubation, to specialized topics such as Technology Commercialization, Virtual Business Incubation and Agribusiness Incubation.

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