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EICF FAQs

Direct Firm Support

Who can apply?
Any private firm or partnership of firms that includes at least one company registered in the Caribbean can apply. International firms can be involved as partners in projects. The firm(s) must have an innovative business idea that meets the challenge and have resources available to match the amount requested (between USD $100,000 and USD $500,000).

How do you apply?
There are two stages, one for the development of the Project Concept Note and the other for the preparation of the Innovative Business Project. These are as follows:

  • Stage 1:
    • Step 1: Register by clicking the “apply now” button and download the application template (Project Concept Note Template).
    • Step 2: Complete the Project Concept Note, including all information requested in the template.
    • Step 3: Submit the Project Concept Note before the deadline for the round.
    • Step 4: Await a response from the Compete Caribbean team. Firms will be informed if they are invited to submit an Innovative Business Project within 45 days based on a template to be provided.
  • Stage 2:
    • Step 1: Complete the template for the Innovative Business Project, including all information requested in the template.
    • Step 2: Submit the Innovative Business Project before the deadline.
    • Step 3: Await a response from the Compete Caribbean team.

How are projects chosen?
Once Project Concept Notes are submitted and the round is closed, the Compete Caribbean Team will assess the applications and score them against the publicized criteria. A shortlist of the highest ranked projects will be sent to an independent investment panel of senior business men and women who will select the best project concept notes to move to stage two. Firms not selected, exit stage 1 and can apply for funding in another round. Selected firms have 45 days to prepare the Innovative Business Project and are eligible to receive up to US$75,000 in grant financing from Compete Caribbean to do so. After the deadline, submitted Innovative Business Projects are presented to the independent investment panel to decide which projects should be funded.

Can I apply for more than one grant?
Firm(s) may submit as many applications as they desire, but each application may include only one project idea.

How will I know which proposals have been accepted?
The winners of each round will be contacted.

Does my company have to contribute?
Yes. Compete Caribbean awards matching grants between USD $100,000 and $500,000. However, there is no upper limit on the total project budget. For larger projects, the firm’s contribution will exceed Compete Caribbean’s grant

How will projects be implemented?
Wining projects will be implemented by the firm(s). Compete Caribbean will disburse grants as the firm achieves distinct milestones. Therefore, the Innovative Business Project will include a budget that is tied to distinct milestones.

Support to Cluster Initiatives

The Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund is a matching grant facility, which provides an opportunity for businesses in the CARIFORUM region to enhance efficiency, productivity and innovativeness. The EICF-SCI has two distinct means of providing grants to firms that are registered in beneficiary countries. Financial support is given to: Clusters and sectors’ value chain to improve their capacity and performance

Small and Medium Enterprise (SMEs) to improve their competitiveness at the regional and global levels through product/service development, innovation and diversification.

Who can apply?
The EICF-SCI is targeted toward private firms legally established in CARIFORUM* countries, Chambers of Commerce or other private sector representative entities, Universities or Academic Institutions and NGOs or Community Base Organizations.

*Antigua & Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Kitts & Nevis, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago

What sort of Projects will be funded?
ECIF-SCI will finance cluster oriented projects or SME development projects through the development of Cluster Competitive Improvement Plans (CCIPs). The ECIF-SCI will support projects that have the potential to create employment and increase and diversify exports. Projects must be able to leverage on the firms creativity and ambition to innovate.

What are the eligibility criteria?
Projects will be assessed and selected base on the following criteria:

  • Importance or potential impact of cluster to national economy
  • The degree of depth of cluster and value chain
  • The potential contribution to actual or potential export
  • The degree of increase to employment/income generation
  • The value added contribution to national or regional development
  • The potential contribution to the development to intra-regional trade

How can company/firm apply?
The first step is to register online via the Compete Caribbean website (competecaribbean.org). Once the application is submitted, the independent investment panel will select the best application(s) and ECIF-SCI will finance consultancy services (up to 75,000) to develop a Cluster Competiveness Improvement Plan (CCIP). The panel will recommend which CCIP’s Compete Caribbean should finance.

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