Caribbean women entrepreneurs defy assumptions thanks to Grow Your Business Workshop
28 innovative and growth-oriented Caribbean women entrepreneurs and business owners attended the first Grow Your Business Workshop in Barbados recently.
The workshop, held at the Accra Beach Hotel, was developed by the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC), organized by infoDev, a global innovation and entrepreneurship program in the World Bank, and supported by the Canadian government. It is part of infoDev’s program that aims to build an enabling ecosystem to foster high-growth and sustainable enterprises throughout the Caribbean.
According to Grace Kyokunda, Program Coordinator of infoDev’s Entrepreneurship Program in the Caribbean, the quality of ideas seen at the women entrepreneurs’ workshop was very encouraging. “These women are very bright and motivated, and their potential to create businesses that impact their communities is clear. We hope that this workshop will help provide them with the support and resources they need to succeed.”
As part of the training, participants were called upon to push their creative boundaries and defy the assumptions that limit entrepreneurs, asking themselves the question ‘What if it is not true?‘ The workshop was designed to encourage innovation and strengthen entrepreneur networks, and covered topics including innovation development, product differentiation and entrepreneurship.
Local participant, Deidre Brathwaite, Managing Director and Head Social Media Strategist, PixlD Inc., says, “The workshop not only provided the opportunity to connect with a network of likeminded and passionate Caribbean female entrepreneurs but it’s interactive nature emphasised practical solutions that can be immediately transferred to our existing business models. In addition, following from this, a strategic framework is being implemented which will assist us in accessing vital resources required to enable the long-term growth of our businesses.”
The women who participated represented a diverse range of businesses, many in emerging technology industries. Entrepreneurs included growth and service consultants, online business managers, and digital marketing and management specialists, as well as fashion and jewelry manufacturers, and agro producers.
Participants hailed from Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and the host country Barbados. A similar workshop was also held in Jamaica for women from Belize, Bahamas and Jamaica.
These workshops form part of a larger framework to support women entrepreneurs. Other areas will include incubation services and access to finance.
Growth-oriented women entrepreneurs who wish to benefit from such initiatives and join the network can find more information on the Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/WomenInnovatorsNetworkCaribbean.