Bridgetown, Barbados, December 10, 2013. The Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) has a new client in ‘Bank on Me’ finalist Dane Saddler. As a part of his prize in the competition, the Agency will provide support for his business, Caribbean Villa Chefs, in the form of export development training and facilitation.

Caribbean Villa Chefs was a finalist of Barbados’ reality TV show ‘Bank on Me’ which aired from October/November on CBC TV 8, Caribvision and online. The show, created and produced by Blue Waters Productions, was presented in association with Scotiabank with the support of Caribbean Export Development Agency, European Union, Fund Access, Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation, CBC TV, Barbados Youth Business Trust, Caribvision and SFa Communications Inc.

Bank on Me is a TV show for entrepreneurs that highlights how they can attract various types of financing including loans, equity and grants through the development of their business plans.

During the six-episode pilot series, viewers watched as a group of entrepreneurs took on various challenges, including presenting their business plans to a panel of judges comprised of business professionals in order to gain support. Each week the contestants were set a challenge that would test their business plans and help to develop their entrepreneurial skills, with one entrepreneur being eliminated from the process by the judges. One of the challenges during the series was to develop an export marketing plan following their attendance of a Caribbean Export led workshop which was devised by Caribbean Export. It was following the research into the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and Caribbean Export for this challenge, that owner Dane Saddler “realised to maximize on the company’s earning potential through export” that he needed to work with the Agency.

Caribbean Villa Chefs is a full service culinary agency that includes private, personal and chef placement services, catering to the needs of tourists, locals and corporate clients in Barbados and across the Caribbean region.

“Dane has a unique business model and it’s one we at Caribbean Export believe is poised for success. Here is an example of qualified professionals working together to export their services, not only regionally, but through Trade agreements such as the EPA, internationally. We are very happy to have Caribbean Villa Chefs on board and to start the work of helping to build their capacity to reach their true potential” expressed Chris McNair, Manager, Competitiveness and Innovation, Caribbean Export.

Caribbean Villa Chefs currently exports on a small scale and believes that with the expertise and access to the Direct Assistance Grant Scheme, as well as the many workshops that Caribbean Export offers, Caribbean Villa Chefs can “increase our export potential greatly by increasing our visibility to our target markets and stream line our current operation procedure to become more profitable.”

It is hoped by Saddler that Caribbean Villa Chefs can become a name associated with quality private chef services not only in the region but also in Europe and Canada. “Our aim is to expand regionally in neighbour islands within the upcoming year and have a satellite network of chefs internationally that we can call on for events worldwide”.

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Pictured from left: Chef Dane Saddler and Chris McNair, Manager, Caribbean Export