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Despite the challenges facing entrepreneurs in 2020, 14 OECS youth entrepreneurs were able to benefit from professional online business coaching and technical assistance coordinated by the OECS Competitive Business Unit and Caribbean Export Development Agency.

The four (4) month virtual programme ended on September 30 2020 and provided opportunities for youth startups in sectors such as; Agribusiness, Agro Processing, Creative Industries, Green Technology and ICT. While most of the entrepreneurs registered for the programme before the COVID-19 pandemic started, the programme became timely in assisting the entrepreneurs to adapt to the changing environment.

The programme featured a comprehensive business diagnostics assessment along with individual coaching and technical assistance to address some of the issues identified in the diagnostic assessment. Many of the young entrepreneurs expressed their satisfaction with the programme indicating that it gave them an opportunity to clarify their vision, to develop achievable goals, to develop transformative business models and strategies.

“It has helped me to formulate a clearer business model and it helped me identify new & innovative business opportunities. The programme also helped me strategize and set smart goals so that I can have a clearer path to follow and create an action plan to achieve these goals.”
Tonnie Pierre from Adroit (Grenada) said.

“It gave me the capacity to separate myself from an operator to a strategist in my business. Ensuring you take the time to work on and not just in your business. ” Ackim Sidonie from Two Aces (Saint Lucia) said.

The OECS was extremely happy to partner with Caribbean Export on this initiative, we are very focused on entrepreneurship and particularly youth entrepreneurship in the OECS. We are heartened by the innovation, maturity, passion and drive of the participants and we will continue to implement similar programes to benefit entrepreneurs across the OECS”. Technical Specialist for Entrepreneurship Development at the OECS Competitive Business Unit, Kwesi Roberts said.

Beneficiaries of the programme

CompanyEntrepreneur’s nameCountrySector
Shop D CaribbeanDarrion LouisSaint LuciaInformation Communication Technology (ICT)
LinkUpKenna Questelles GeorgeSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesInformation Communication Technology (ICT)
The Two AcesAckim SidonieSaint LuciaInformation Communication Technology (ICT)
Zénaïde AromatherapyZanda DesirSaint LuciaManufacturing
Mec DesignsMauisa CarbonAntigua and BarbudaManufacturing
T & A Household DecorAmy AntoineSaint LuciaManufacturing
AdroitTonnie PierreGrenadaAgribusiness
Cronneit’s Forest BowsDenny CronneitGrenadaManufacturing
Flirt CocktailsHyacinth RichardsonSaint Kitts and NevisAgribusiness & Manufacturing
Mangal Trading IncorporationNila MangalSaint LuciaAgribusiness
Akata FarmsBevon Chadel CharlesGrenadaAgribusiness
My Crown Of CurlsRanique JohnSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesAgribusiness & Manufacturing
Emerald Solar and Wind LtdNicholas SanderMontserratRenewable Energy
Caribi DreamsMr. Maurice  JohnSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesRenewable Energy

Coaches of the programme

Pablo A. Arroyo Casañas (Tampa, Florida-USA)

Pablo Arroyo has over 18 years of experience in business development as an owner, business consultant and coach in the public and private sectors. He is a NASBITE Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), a Certified Marketing Executive (CME) from SMEI International and a Certified Transformational Coach from the Blue Mesa Group. During his career, Arroyo was involved in strategic market expansion for companies from diverse sectors with an emphasis on manufacturing, technology, agribusiness, food, tourism, hospitality, entrepreneurship and value-added enterprise development.

Ladi Franklin (Trinidad and Tobago)

Ladi Franklin is a Certified Value Builder™ who offers group and one-on-one coaching to value-growth entrepreneur-owned businesses. She is an Entrepreneurial Thought & Action (ET&A®) Educator and Business Strategy Coach with two decades of experience providing guidance to entrepreneur-owned small and medium scale businesses. Ladi has worked with MSMEs in diverse industry sectors including manufacturing, tourism, agro-processing, creativity, retail, healthcare, personal, and professional services sectors.

Michele Kalloo (Trinidad and Tobago)

Michele Kalloo has been involved in export sales and marketing throughout the Caribbean and Latin America for over twenty years. She has been guiding and advising business executives from large companies to SME’s looking to take their products to the world.

This release was originally posted on the OECS website.

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