LINK-Caribbean is an Investment Facilitation Project that aims to improve entrepreneur access to much needed capital with two primary objectives: 1) to enable entrepreneurs to raise capital from private investors, principally business angel investors, and 2) to develop a pan-Caribbean early-stage investment community, with a focus on angel investors in the region, institutional investors and diaspora investors via the creation of a Regional Angel Investor Network (RAIN).
In the Caribbean early-stage and growth stage businesses play a critical role in sustainable economic and social development. They foster growth, innovation and prosperity and are flexible and quick to respond to market changes, such as evolving consumer tastes. This is an important asset in a globalized economy where consumers are ever more aware and informed, and increasingly in search of more customized goods and services.
Caribbean Export’s mandate speaks to increasing the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by focusing on export-led development and investment promotion. A key component of this is increasing access to finance for the private sector. In developed and emerging economies private equity financing, particularly angel investment, has played a powerful role in increasing the success of companies, especially those at the early stages of development. In the Caribbean there has been significant growth in initiatives that support entrepreneurship development, such as incubators and accelerators. There has also been a shift in services from general business support to working with entrepreneurs personally.
It is in this context that the Caribbean Export Development Agency together with the World Bank Group has developed LINK-Caribbean.