The Caribbean is wonderfully diverse with a rich heritage and a unique culture that encourages flair and creativity. The Innovation Window is designed to probe for and develop the ingenuity of the Caribbean private sector by encouraging firms and entrepreneurs across the Caribbean states to compete for non-reimbursable grant funding up to US $500,000. The grants finance projects that are innovative and risky. If successful these projects could make a significant contribution to the economic development of the Caribbean. Specifically, the fund will provide matching grant resources to firms and entrepreneurs, who want to finance innovative ventures, take risks to develop new products, implement new business models, and/or enter new markets.
Application, Assessment and Selection Process
Applications to the fund follow a two stage process and the entire process from application to grant approval can take up to six months.
Projects will be assessed and selected using the following criteria:
- Innovative merit
Refers to the factors of differentiation of the proposed new project or service with respect to what is already available in the destination market. Technological impact also will be considered where applicable
- Commercial viability
Considers the market, the proposed commercial strategy, projections and economic results over time, growth potential, and risk factors of the business and the project
- Coherence in the Formulation
Adequate relationship between objectives, results and activities. Adequate human and financial resources for fulfillment of the objectives
- Incidence of the project in environmental aspects
- Incidence of the project in matters of social impact (such as poverty, employment, income, young people, ethnic minorities and migrants)
- Incidence of the project in terms of its benefit to women
Applicants to the Innovation Window are expected to:
- Read and understand the eligibility and program criteria;
- Accept the terms and conditions and register;
- Complete and submit a project concept note ( PCN) in the online format, with all required documentation;
- If selected, indicate need and cooperate in the development of an Innovative Business Plan1.
- If selected, agree to provide all of the information required by the Program for its monitoring activities and for evaluation of results and impact and audits performed by the Program administration or those hired to do so;
- If selected, agree to involvement in the program’s visibility campaign/s.
The first stage is the submission of an initial application form or project concept note where applicants have the chance to tell us about their business idea, and about their company. This is your chance to share your excitement and passion for the idea and to sell us on its innovative content, commercial viability and development impact.
Applications will be assessed by a small team of experts and the fund manager who will shortlist the best applications, based on eligibility and the quality of the written submissions. If you are a winner here, you be notified and invited to compete by cooperating with a rapid assessment exercise. The results of this, together with the application will be forwarded to Compete Caribbean’s Internal Panel of Experts (IPE) for review. The best submissions here will ascend to the second stage.
The second stage is the preparation and submission of a detailed business plan, which your company will be asked to provide if your application has been selected to move forward. If you indicate need, the program provides the funding for the development of the business plan in accordance with an established template to ensure consistency. During this stage the fund or its agents will engage with and visit all of the companies preparing business plans and it is here that you are expected to flesh out your idea and show us how the transformation from idea to viable commercial concept will occur and what will be the final result. The final business plans are presented to an independent Investment Committee for a decision about which business ideas win the competition for CCP funding.
If your application is a winner, you will be contacted by the program for discussion and negotiation on the implementation activity, based on the information you provided in the business plan.
1 The Innovative Business Plan is a required output from the process and can be funded by the program if you indicate a need. It is yours to keep irrespective of the outcome of the competition. The plan is what will sell your idea as a winner to the independent investment committee so the transformative process from idea to commercial product/service to expected outcomes must be clear and well presented.
Learn the Process
How do we select our winners?