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Project Name:
Support for Dominica
Description:

Dominica continues to need support, and you can help.

On September 18th, Dominica was devastated by Hurricane Maria, which hit the island nation as a Category 5 storm. Maria destroyed most of Dominica’s buildings, and stripped the Nature Island of its lush rainforests. Two weeks later, the situation on the ground remains difficult. Some parts of Dominica remain uncommunicated, and most of the island is without electricity and running water. The government of Dominica is working around the clock to secure food for its citizens, and to restore basic infrastructure. You can help relief efforts by donating to: 1.) the official donation account of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica; or 2.) one of several crowdfunding campaigns on gofundme.com such as the one established by the Dominica American Relief and Development Association, Inc. (DARDA.org)

Let’s all pull together to help our regional neighbours in their time of need.

Click here to Donate to the Government’s official donation account

Click here to Donate to DARDA

Project Name:
Caribbean Innovation – Present and Future
Description:

 

Hyper-connectivity has become the new engine of the digital economy, which is a key driver to innovation and growth around the world.

With the amount of connected devices rising to 16 billion between 2010 and 2016, and expected to rise to 29 billion by 2022, along with increased bandwidth, security and stability of mobile data networks, the digital economy is a key element, if not the driving force, changing the way we do business worldwide. According to McKinsey, digital flows of data and information now exert a larger impact on GDP growth than traditional trade in goods and services (Source: McKinsey), with approximately 12 percent of the global goods trade conducted via international e-commerce. Digital technology offers the opportunity to small businesses worldwide to use e-commerce platforms to connect with suppliers and customers in other countries and reach new markets, supporting economic growth everywhere. Individuals can now learn, find and work globally, without leaving their home.

 

All over the world, digitization and the digital economy has enabled businesses to increase productivity and spur innovation. In recognition of this fact, developed country governments are making digital economy policy a top priority, working to empower their businesses and citizens with the tools, education and resources necessary to reap the full benefits of the digital economy.

 

While this is happening, and despite the demonstrated contribution of the digital economy to productivity and economic growth, the Caribbean ranks low in indices which proxy for participation in the digital economy, for example, indexes that measure the amount of data inflows and outflows from the Caribbean to the rest of the world, particularly when compared to GDP (See for example the MGI connectivity index in the McKinsey study). This may be due, in part, to the prevailing atmosphere in the region where, as Diane Edwards, President of Jamaica Trade and Invest (JAMPRO) said in her opening remarks at the second day of the Compete Caribbean Regional Policy Dialogue, held in Jamaica, “The Caribbean is still playing catch up to the 20th Century, still concerned about internet penetration and broadband costs, when the world has moved on to smart houses, streaming video, big data, artificial intelligence, household robots and workplace automation.”

 

Certainly, Caribbean firms differ substantially in terms of their usage of digital technology. Though many businesses advertise and promote their offerings online, e-commerce, especially end-to-end sale of goods or services online, is still exceedingly low. This was highlighted by Sylvia Dohnert, Executive Director of Compete Caribbean during her presentation on Firm-Level Productivity and Innovation. One of the region’s crucial difficulties is the difficulty that SMEs face to establish merchant accounts, which are both expensive to maintain and time-consuming to set up. If a small business is unable to establish a merchant account, there is very little recourse, as services of third-party processors like PayPal and Stripe are only available to those firms with bank accounts abroad.

 

In this difficult context, distributed ledger technology may bring tangible solutions. Bitt.com is an innovative Barbadian company that is using blockchain technology to develop a digital wallet that can allow individuals and firms to exchange money digitally in a secure and seamless manner. Their product is expected to launch December 2017. If this technology fulfills its promise of allowing firms to dramatically reduce the difficulties of making e-payments in the region, it could open a new future for e-commerce and GDP growth in the Caribbean.

 

At a much broader, economy-wide level, and beyond digital transactions, Caribbean countries would do well in discussing with their citizens and stakeholders a digital economy policy that could propel the economies of the region forward. A digital economy policy includes those policy or regulatory changes that encourage investment and competition in the digital space. A non-exhaustive list of some of the important aspects covered by a digital economy policy are: 1) ensuring free flow of online information; 2) ensuring trust and security online by, for example, strengthening consumer privacy protection and supporting cyber-security; 3) encouraging innovation and emerging technologies by, for example, protecting intellectual property, facilitating open data and standards for inter-operability; 4) ensuring access and skills by supporting broadband coverage and accessibility, as well as digital literacy.

See the following links for a presentation on the role of public policy in the digital transformation of firms (view the PDF, watch the video) delivered by Claudia Suaznabar during the 2017 Regional Policy Dialogue hosted by Compete Caribbean on the Digital Economy in the Caribbean.

Project Name:
Building Institutional Capacity for Strengthening Business Clusters; Call for Applications Extended to September 15th, 2017
Description:

If your mandate is to foster the productivity and growth of micro, small, or medium enterprises (MSMEs), you may be interested in supporting business clusters. The purpose of clustering initiatives is to encourage collaborative actions to improve the competitiveness of a sector or industry.

Eligible Countries

  • Antigua & Barbuda;
  • Belize;
  • Dominica;
  • Grenada;
  • Guyana;
  • Jamaica;
  • St. Kitts & Nevis;
  • St. Lucia;
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines.

Eligible countries may access the application package here (Download; 1 Document)

Project Name:
Jamaican Ornamental Fish Project Building Bridges
Description:

The Jamaica Urban Ornamental Fish Cluster funded by Compete Caribbean consists of approximately 170 relatively small, mostly home-based aquaculture farms located primarily in urban communities in Kingston, St. Andrew, St. Catherine and Clarendon.

It is led by The Competitiveness Company (TCC), a not-for-profit social enterprise based in Kingston that has been its main driver, marketer and advocate over at least the past five years. Objective: To promote the Jamaica Ornamental fish Cluster’s ability to efficiently deliver quality ornamental aquatic products to international buyers, at competitive market prices.

Through technical assistance from Compete Caribbean, the TCC was able to achieve:

  • Exported approximately 25,000 fish, including to buyers in a new market (Canada);
  • Entire value chain has completed training on standards, fish health and nutrition by globally recognized experts in the field;
  • Mortality rate of export fish has declined significantly;
  • Data collection and management system is now in use, with field staff having been trained in the use of the system and the tablets;
  • Completed design of the export (nexus) facility

Take a trip to Jamaica and the world of the ornamental fish farmer . . .

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Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Project Name:
The Power of Innovation in the Caribbean
Description:

Kapil Mohabir of Plympton Farms – Guyana, Ronald Hinds of Teleios – Trinidad and Tobago and Duquesne Fednard of D&E Green Enterprises – Haiti speak candidly about their experiences working with Compete Caribbean as one of the private sector catalysts in the region.

In an event to celebrate the successful conclusion of Phase One of the Compete Caribbean Program, they all spoke under the theme “New Ideas that Change the Region: Innovation in the Caribbean” and touched on the barriers they faced regarding funding.

They each credited the creativity, structure and robustness of the Compete Caribbean Program as being responsible for their business accomplishments thus far. Take a listen . . .

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cc-event-footer-161121

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Project Name:
Compete Caribbean Resonates Deeply Regionally
Description:

By 2017, the Compete Caribbean Program directly created over 5000 jobs and indirectly contributed to another 6000. Of the direct employment created, approximately 80% of these jobs went to women and the average labour participation of women in beneficiary firms/clusters increased by approximately 15%.

Six years ago, the Compete Caribbean Program was launched with the goal of stimulating private sector development (PSD) in the Caribbean region. This year, 2017, marks the end of Phase One of the Program which is considered a resounding success by many in the PSD hemisphere.

Read more

cc-event-footer-161121

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Project Name:
Banane D’Haiti: Fast Becoming a Reality
Description:

Haiti Originale, LLC, the company behind Banane d’Haiti, was created to encourage sustainable job creation and economic growth in Haiti. The company’s success is moored to an unshakable belief in the resilience of the Haitian people and their ability to produce first world products and services with which global brands will want to partner.

Fuelled by research and technical assistance from international fruit and vegetable giant – Dole, the company knew, given the favourable costs of key factors of production such as labour and land, and the conducive climate and soils that it was possible to grow high quality, competitively priced Bananas from Haiti.

It also knew that it wouldn’t be easy to attract buyer interest in bananas grown in Haiti, an unstable country with significant political and social turmoil and no track record of exporting bananas, unless they had hard data to prove it could be done on a competitive and sustainable basis. So, they set out to do just that!

Read more

cc-event-footer-161121

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Project Name:
Grenada’s Protein from Waste Project Nominated for Awards
Description:

The Grenada Project – Protein from Waste Initiative, one of the most innovative and exciting projects under the Compete Caribbean Phase One portfolio, has been nominated for two international awards.

Both nominations fall under the United Nation’s banner. The first nomination is The United Nations Climate Change Secretariat’s, Momentum for Change Lighthouse Activities which shines a light on the most innovative, scalable and replicable examples of what people around the world are doing to tackle climate change. It further targets leading results-driven projects that are successfully addressing climate change. Successful awardees will be announced in September.

The second nomination is for The Equator Initiative’s Equator Prize for 2017. This year’s prize will be awarded to outstanding community and indigenous initiatives that are advancing nature-based solutions for local sustainable development.

Read more

cc-event-footer-161121

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Project Name:
Pomeroon: From Gold to Coconuts
Description:

Over 150 coconut farmers in the Pomeroon, Guyana have tapped into the lucrative entrepreneurial opportunity of exporting coconut water resulting in significant growth for the country and its people.

In 2016, 150.2 tonnes of coconut water, valued at US$364,121, was exported and this activity has encouraged greater potential for 2017 and beyond.

The coconut production resurgence has also seen three regional buyers secured, the creation of 372 jobs plus the growth of female employment to 55%.

However, this picture of growth and prosperity was not always the case in the Pomeroon. A few years ago l and owners and farm operators abandoned their properties and turned their attention to the more lucrative earnings from Guyana’s gold mines.

However, in 2014, the Compete Caribbean Program collaborated with the Pomeroon Export Producers Association (PEPA ) to revive agricultural production in the Lower Pomeroon, improve the state of the farms and secure markets for export. Now, this remote territory which spans more than 20,000 hectares, has potential to be the key to both sustainable trade and social development in Pomeroon.

Read more

cc-event-footer-161121

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

Project Name:
Is there a Gender Gap in the Caribbean?
Description:

Female participation in the management and ownership of Caribbean firms is relatively high, compared to international standards.

Women-led businesses differ from other firms in the Caribbean along several characteristics, in particular, a larger presence of women in the management and ownership of the firms is often associated with smaller size, younger age, domestic ownership and limited access to finance.

Some of these stylized facts differ depending on the measure of the gender composition within the firm, lending support to the fact that having a different gender balance in the ownership or in the management is associated with different firm characteristics.

This paper focuses on the presence of a gender gap in firm performance and shows that women-managed firms are in fact less productive than other comparable firms, even after controlling for country and sector characteristics and for a large set of firm-level variables that drive productivity.

Read more

cc-event-footer-161121

Compete Caribbean is a private sector development program that provides technical assistance grants and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and Small and Medium Size Enterprise (SME) development activities in the Caribbean region. The program, jointly funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Canada, and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), supports projects in 15 Caribbean countries. Projects in the OECS countries are implemented in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank.

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