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Project Name:
Compete Caribbean Approves New Projects, to Improve Business and Innovation Climate in the Region
Description:

To improve the business and innovation climate in the region, Compete Caribbean approves new projects aimed at preparing Caribbean businesses to take advantages of global trends and best practices.

The new projects include:

Digitalization of processes for construction permits in Antigua and Barbuda

The objective of this operation is to implement a digitized system for obtaining construction permits to facilitate a reduction in the number of processes, time and costs involved for firms in Antigua and Barbuda.

The project will support the business re-engineering and design for a new Electronic Permitting System including hardware acquisition and training. Additionally, the project will support the drafting of revised regulations/legislation to support a new system.

For more information visit

Project Page

Project Document

To learn more about our partner organization please visit:

Development Control Authority (DCA) of Antigua and Barbuda

 

Improved business registration in St. Vincent & the Grenadines

The objective of this program is to promote the development of SMEs through strengthening the institutional capacity of the Commerce and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to support business registration.

The recently approved program seeks to lower transaction costs for SMEs by improving business registration and enabling CIPO to utilize the full capacity of its electronic registry. The project will support the development of an E-Government Solution including design and delivery of training using approaches that are inclusive and gender sensitive.

For more information visit

Project Page

Project Document

To learn more about our partner organization please visit:

Commerce and Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Institutional strengthening to improve business climate in Grenada

The program will provide support to three public sector institutions that have important roles in implementing a reform agenda to strengthen and enable the business environment in Grenada.

The program will support design and implementation of a SMART action plan that entails development of a system for monitoring, reporting on, and driving accountability for business climate reforms at the Ministry of Health, Social Security & International Business, specifically at the International Business Unit. Additionally, the assistance will upgrade technology and expand training for business registration services at the Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO). Finally, the project seeks to improve customs procedures related to trading across borders, and improve the staff’s skills in areas important to improving client satisfaction at the Grenada Customs and Excise Division.

For more information visit

Project Page

Project Document

To learn more about our partner organizations please visit:

Ministry of Health, Social Security & International Business

Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office

Grenada Customs and Excise Division

 

Modernization of business support processes in Saint Lucia

The objective of the project is to support the implementation of a business climate reform agenda that create an enabling environment for SMEs in St. Lucia.

The project will address the underutilization of the online tax payment system; revise the framework for protecting minority interest; and improve enforcing contracts by promoting increased use of alternative dispute resolution; and increasing the level of automation in Saint Lucia’s commercial court.

For more information visit

Project Page

Project Document

To learn more about our partner organizations please visit:

Inland Revenue Department
Easter Caribbean Supreme Court

Project Name:
Compete Caribbean Continues Support to Belize Shrimp Producers’ Cluster
Description:

Compete Caribbean continues furthering its support to the Belize Shrimp Cluster and will provide support to develop a Cluster Development Plan (CDP), which will help the sector improve competitiveness and define strategy. The project will focus on establishing a Bio-security Aquaculture Zone Management Plan (BAZMP) in Belize.

In collaboration with BELTRAIDE and the Belize Shrimp Growers Association (BSGA), a Compete Caribbean mission visited Belize to meet with key cluster stakeholders and regulatory agencies to present the cluster strategy and the project.

The development of a BAZMP in Belize is important to minimize the risk of introducing an infectious disease into to the shrimp farms and also to avoid that infectious agents spread to other sites and to other susceptible species. Sound bio-security practices are good for business because their cost can be low compared to the expected benefits on productivity and product quality. This is particularly the case when serious diseases can be excluded from your farm or eradicated from it if they occur.

Through previous Compete Caribbean support, the Belize shrimp cluster received training and capacity that allowed them to successfully obtain the Aquaculture Steward Council (ASC) certification, which ensures environmentally and socially responsible production of farmed shrimp. This certification has enabled the cluster to access premium markets where high value is placed on environmental and social sustainability (e.g. U.S.A, Canada).

Other results achieved include an increase in the total value of the cluster’s exports from $20million to $45million and a 101% percent increase in annual sales directly attributed to the ASC certification, employees saw their annual incomes grow by 46% and 170 new jobs were generated, of which approximately one third went to women, including senior management positions.

 

Learn more about Compete Caribbean support to the BSGA: https://youtu.be/KjiVbFEOg4g

For more information about the Belize’s ASC certification: https://youtu.be/8rAlOmp7sA8

Project Name:
Caribbean Islands Leading the Region in Implementing Bans on Plastic and Styrofoam
Description:

The fight against single-use plastic and styrofoam has been gathering steam over the past years, and the Caribbean has been one of the regions taking the lead in this area. Eight Caribbean nations have implemented bans on plastics and styrofoam, the latest ones are:

  • Grenada has put in place a ban on styrofoam imports effective September 2018, a ban on styrofoam sales effective April 2019 and is finalizing consultations to enact a ban on single-use plastic products by February 2019.

Minister for Climate Resilience and the Environment, Senator Simon Stiell made the announcement stating that the ban is not being instituted arbitrarily, but in consultation with importers and other stakeholders. He further stated that Government is committed to working together with stakeholders to ensure that the transition and economic impact of the ban on Styrofoam and specified single-use plastics are as seamless as possible.

  • Dominica has announced its aim to completely ban common plastics and single-use Styrofoam cups and food containers — effective January 2019.

Announcing this intention, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said his government wanted to help preserve Dominica’s famously beautiful natural landscape and be the world’s first climate-resilient nation. The decision to protect the environment goes hand in hand with the country’s commitment to protecting itself against future natural disasters.

 

A UNEP study maps advances the Caribbean region is making towards banning plastics and styrofoams, currently, 10 nations have implemented or announced bans and 5 are in discussions to adopt them.

 

To learn more about the Grenada ban click here

To learn more about the Dominica ban click here

To see UNEP’s interactive map on plastic bans click here

Project Name:
SECOND PHASE OF SUPPORT TO JAMAICA’S IGNITE FUND FOR PROMOTING INNOVATIVE FIRMS
Description:

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:

https://singularityhub.com/2018/02/05/are-accelerators-the-secret-to-building-truly-great-startup-hubs/#sm.0000sgy0bu60ocy5xr92eh5ix2u9d

Project Name:
COMPETE CARIBBEAN APPROVES THREE NEW PROJECTS APPROVED, TO IMPROVE BUSINESS AND INNOVATION CLIMATE IN THE REGION
Description:

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:
www.competecaribbean.org/projects-around-region/

Project Name:
How can blockchain help to increase access to finance for Caribbean SMEs?
Description:

Block-chain has the potential to combine dimensions of digital identity like never before. Not only aggregating
alternative information, block-chain maximizes frictionless transactions, security, and individual autonomy.

 

(more…)

Project Name:
RESULTS OF CALL – CHALLENGES FOR WOMEN-OWNED FIRMS IN THE CARIBBEAN RESULTS
Description:

Dear Researchers,

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.

(more…)

Project Name:
Compete Caribbean funding helps Jamaican/Scottish firm, ISOCON-JLB, fill a niche in the Caribbean.
Description:

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Project Name:
Compete Caribbean and JAMPRO partner to increase foreign direct investment in Jamaica
Description:

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Project Name:
Do you have an innovative idea with the potential to increase exports and create jobs in the Caribbean? Bring it to life!
Description:

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…)