The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) will finance a marketing consultancy to enhance the competitiveness of Jamaican coffee exporters in the European Union (EU) market.
The initiative was developed following a meeting between Jamaica’s Ambassador to Belgium, H.E. Symone Betton Nayo and Deodat Maharaj, Executive Director of the Caribbean Export.
The first phase of the consultancy will focus on an analysis of the EU coffee market, including market entry requirements and the penetration strategies of other major coffee exporters to the EU. The second phase will focus on developing a targeted marketing strategy for the EU coffee market.
The initiative will address issues raised at a meeting in May 2021 between Jamaican, Belgian and other EU coffee stakeholders about the need for a marketing strategy in the EU. Participants requested that the strategy provides guidance on sustainability, telling the story of the product and ways to appeal to young people, a growing EU consumer base.
The initiative is funded by the European Union under the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development programme.
The Jamaica Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will host a launch event for this initiative on 27 January 2022, from 10 – 11 AM EST. The Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, Her Excellency, Ambassador Symone Betton-Nayo, Deodat Maharaj and other key partners will participate in the event. The consultant, Windward Commodities will present a proposed review of the EU coffee market.
The OECS-Caribbean Export Development Agency’s Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme launched on July 8, 2020 with the aim of strengthening the entrepreneurial and leadership skills of 14 selected young entrepreneurs from six countries of the Eastern Caribbean.
In her remarks at the virtually held launch event Caribbean Exports’ Services Specialist – Allyson Francis, underscored the importance of the private sector and youth owned businesses, in particular, for sustainable economic growth in the Caribbean.
“Youth are the future. Their businesses are a critical foundation for sustainable economic growth in the region and so we must invest in them and their businesses.”
Funding for this technical assistance and coaching programme comes via the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme, which the Agency is currently implementing.
“Caribbean Export implemented a similar coaching programme for women owned businesses which was very successful, and so I encourage the participants to leverage the knowledge and expertise of the coaches and to build a network between one another” she continued.
The programme pursues three main objectives, namely:
assisting entrepreneurs to clarify their vision and develop achievable goals that can be translated into tangible results;
assisting entrepreneurs to develop transformative business models and strategies that enhance productivity, competitiveness and growth; and
providing technical support to set entrepreneurs on a path towards export readiness.
The beneficiaries of the OECS-Caribbean Export Development Agency’s Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme were targeted through national Business Service Organisations and the “OECS 30 under 30” programme. From 21 applications, 14 companies have been selected to participate in the three-month coaching programme from both the services and goods sectors. The group of young entrepreneurs will benefit from a highly experienced team of coaches in multiple areas such as business plan development, financial analysis, operations management, sales, marketing and branding, human resource management, proposal development, product development and quality assurance, legal and regulatory environment, ethical and sustainable business trends, information and communication technologies and e-commerce, and creative industries among others.
The coaching programme also includes the completion of a comprehensive analysis of each beneficiary companies and the development of individual strategies which will address their specific issues.
In closing, OECS and Caribbean Export reaffirmed the intention to continue to support the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean through complementary projects which will be launched in the future.