SECOND PHASE OF SUPPORT TO JAMAICA’S IGNITE FUND FOR PROMOTING INNOVATIVE FIRMS
The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility is exploring avenues for supporting Jamaica’s Innovation Grant from New Ideas to Entrepreneurship (IGNITE) Phase II. The IGNITE Programme is managed by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) and was designed through support from the Inter-American Development Bank to support the creation and growth of new firms in productive sectors. Selective business service intermediaries (BSIs) work with competitively selected innovative entrepreneurs in accessing grant funds and training to develop and commercialize their products. The first phase of the IGNITE program provided bank provided funding of between JMD$1 million and JMD$4 million to 27 entrepreneurs under IGNITE’s 18-month pilot. The program reports that during the first 12 months of IGNITE’s pilot, 215 full time jobs were created; $225 million in investments were generated; and entities realized approximately $109 million in revenues from the domestic market and exports.
Stemming from the success of Phase I, the second phase of the program was launched on April 27th. This second phase will continue to focus on building a strong innovation ecosystem that supports development of innovative ventures that contribute to employment and economic growth. A foundational element of such an ecosystem is developing a pipeline of startups and embedding mechanisms for supporting their development and growth. Demonstration effects encourage others to become entrepreneurs, know-how is transferred, employment is generated, and an ecosystem for promoting more innovation and growth is inculcated.
Beyond seed funding, accelerators have grown in prominence, yet they are distinct from other early-stage support mechanisms such as incubation. Cohen and Hochberg (2014) define a startup accelerator as a fixed-term, cohort-based program, including mentorship and educational components, that culminates in a public pitch event or demo day. According to Juan Carlos Navarro, Science and Technology Principal Technical Leader of the Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation Division of the IDB, accelerators are further down the road than incubation. Accelerators support growth-oriented entrepreneurial ventures in developing their client base, increasing contact with potential clients downstream or upstream, accessing expertise critical to growth such as IP management advisory services, and providing strategic connections to mentorship and networks. Accelerators essentially accelerate the learning-by-doing process all entrepreneurs have to go through (Hathaway 2016).
It is critical for countries to build innovation-led competitiveness by creating high-quality domestic accelerators that can produce a critical mass of sustainable local startups and attract super-connected international accelerators to access global networks of knowledge and resources. Interconnection between ecosystems is critical in less mature ecosystems which cannot provide the quality mentorship and funding needed for their startups to compete internationally. Accelerators also connect ecosystems to each other, allowing entrepreneurs in less advanced ecosystems to access the talent, mentors, and funding networks unavailable domestically. This project will thus assess whether there is space to create and/or strengthen acceleration activity in an institution in Jamaica and to devise and implement a strategy for doing so. Complementarily, institutions in Jamaica interested in/undertaking acceleration activities can be connected to international accelerators outside of Jamaica in order to transfer the experience, network and know-how back home.
Discussions will continue to take place with local counterpart DBJ to flesh out what this support will look like. Ultimately, the project will strengthen local capacity for developing a pipeline of early/stage innovative ventures, mostly technology based, that contribute to catalyzing firm productivity gains. Specifically, the project aims to support capacity to design, implement and evaluate innovation programs within the framework of IGNITE II. We look forward to the partnership with the DBJ.
To read on the support of the second phase of the IGNITE program please visit: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/reynolds-boss-expects-support-for-ignite-programme_131858?profile=1373
To learn more on innovation-led competitiveness please visit:
COMPETE CARIBBEAN APPROVES THREE NEW PROJECTS APPROVED, TO IMPROVE BUSINESS AND INNOVATION CLIMATE IN THE REGION
The three projects include:
Capacity Building for Barbados in Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems
On June 4th , 2018, the Inter-American Development Bank through the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility approved the Technical Corporation (TC) “Capacity Building for Barbados in Alternative Dispute Resolution Systems” in the amount USD200,000.
The objective of the TC will be to improve the service delivery of Arbitration and Mediation Services in Barbados thereby reducing the burden of commercial disputes on the existing legal system. As such, the project will support the establishment of a framework that will reduce the time taken for settlements to be reached in the enforcement of contracts and the resolution of business disputes and contribute to making Barbados a regional hub for Alternative Dispute Resolution. The project will be executed in partnership with the Arbitration and Mediation court of the Caribbean.
Project page (https://www.iadb.org/en/project/BA-T1056)
Project document (http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=EZSHARE-1782692927-12)
Partner organization: Arbitration and Mediation court of the Caribbean (https://www.caribcourt.org/)
Leveraging Digital Technology for Improving the Business Climate in Belize
On May 24th, 2018 the Inter-American Development Bank through the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility approved the Technical Corporation (TC) “Leveraging Digital Technology for Improving the Business Climate in Belize” in the amount USD220,000.
The project will finance a mobile-friendly, feasible technological solution to streamline business processes and improve data sharing among government agencies. Improved intra-agency communication will not only result in reduced processing time but will also support open data initiatives via dynamic and secure sharing of content and data between entities, approved users, and applications. The project will be executed in partnership with Belize Economic Development Council.
Project page (https://www.iadb.org/en/project/BL-T1110)
Project document (http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=EZSHARE-1324162835-15)
Partner organization: Belize Economic Development Council (http://edc.gov.bz/)
Competitiveness Agenda & Action Plan for Saint Lucia
On June 8th, 2018 , the Inter-American Development Bank through the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility approved the Technical Corporation (TC) “Saint Lucia Competitiveness Agenda & Action Plan” in the amount of USD200,000.
The purpose of this TC will be foster competitiveness, productivity and innovation in the St. Lucia. This will be done in the following ways: (i) building the capacity of key institutions such as NCPC and Department of Innovation; (ii) defining a Competitiveness Agenda that reflects consensus between public, private and civil society actor on activities that can foster sustainable economic growth; (iii) the implementation business climate reforms coming out (ii). The project will be executed in partnership with the National Competitiveness and Productivity Council.
Project page (https://www.iadb.org/en/project/RG-T3243)
Project document (http://idbdocs.iadb.org/wsdocs/getdocument.aspx?docnum=EZSHARE-1176351197-17)
Partner organization: National Competitiveness and Productivity Council (http://stluciancpc.org/)
To learn more about Compete Caribbean Projects please visit:
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Our most sincere thanks to all applicants who showed an unparalleled level of dedication in participating in the call to address gender issues in the Caribbean.
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Do you have an innovative idea with the potential to increase exports and create jobs in the Caribbean? Bring it to life!
Submit your proposal to Compete Caribbean between July 1 and September 15, 2013 and compete for up to US$500,000 to develop your idea! We welcome any innovative project, from any economic sector and any size of firm. However all firms must be resident in a CARIFORUM country and be prepared to provide counterpart funding of 50% of the cost of the project (of which up to 50% can be in kind). (more…)