The future of cleantech development and industry in Barbados is here! Meet the innovative incubatees of Bloom, the Barbados Cleantech Cluster. Discover their businesses, projects, personal stories and unique journeys in this interview series.*
Q: What’s your name and what’s your project/business?
A: The name of our startup company is GoodridgePower. We are a next generation energy solutions startup that promotes and provides creative solutions to maximise the implementation of renewable energy (RE) systems such as PV Solar Systems, while ensuring successful project investments.
- Build Awareness – By sharing wide perspectives of the potential of renewable energy systems.
- Provide Creative Solutions – By designing customized renewable energy projects and offering creative financing solutions.
- Provide Coordination Services – By facilitating unbiased selection of renewable energy service providers and by ensuring project quality and control.
Our aim is to empower our clients! We are committed to identifying economically optimal solutions and partnering with our clients to simplify implementation and ensure success.
Q: Tell us one thing you’re proud of since the inception of your business.
A: We are still in the formative stages of the development of our business. Being selected as a participant in the Bloom Cleantech Incubation Programme, has been one of our greatest successes to date.
Q: Why did you choose to sign up for Bloom? How do you think it can help you?
A: Bloom Cleantech Incubation program is the first of its kind in Barbados, focusing directly on clean energy business start-ups. Consequently, we believed Bloom would truly appreciate and provide the necessary resources and environment to mentor and develop our business appropriately as we are a business start-up within the renewable energy sector. In this regard, Bloom is helping us by providing comprehensive exposure to many aspects of sustainable development and can provide the unique supporting framework needed for green business initiatives to emerge and thrive.
Q: Is there anything you learned or gained so far from participating in Bloom that helped you to keep moving forward? How was that knowledge helpful?
A: So far, participation in the Bloom CleanTech Cluster has exposed us to some of the best training courses available across the world. Courses which have been carefully selected by our cluster coordinators have imparted a vast amount of relevant knowledge in creative ways over a very short period of time. This has expanded our perspectives, enhanced our business considerations, and focused our business development process.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience in your cleantech journey?
A: One of the most memorable aspects of our cleantech journey so far is our monthly update meetings with Cluster Coordinators. Since we are at the business planning and validation stages of our start-up development, our periodic update meetings provide a valuable environment for articulation, guidance and discovery.
Being able to discuss our business ideas and business development process has been healthy and enjoyable. Feedback for cluster coordinators has consistently encouraged and inspired, as linkages were often made between our thoughts and ideas, and international business models and strategies. On each occasion, we left our update meetings challenged and motivated to move to the next level.
Q: What are the top challenges you are facing? How are you dealing with these?
A: The top challenges we are currently facing are:
- Gaining access to funding to implement initial projects
- Navigating long and arduous project approval processes.
In relation to gaining access to project funding, we are engaging multiple local lending agencies and we are soliciting support from Bloom to engage larger local, regional and international agencies which focus specifically on green loans.
Navigating long and arduous project approval processes has the potential to terminally halt business development. To deal with this, we are grouping smaller projects into single implementation plans and developing extended future forecasting.
Q: Where are you now on your journey to success? How have you grown?
A: We are currently at the business planning and validation stages of our start-up development. Participation in Bloom has significantly enhanced our understanding of what a start-up really is. We have grown to understand that a start-up is a search and discovery effort to find “a repeatable and scalable business model”. As such, our initial zeal to have a business has been carefully channelled towards constantly testing and validating the viability of our business ideas. As a result, the focus of our business venture has changed substantially since its inception.
Q: What keeps you going?
A: Beyond the need to make a living and generate profit, GoodridgePower is motivated by the prospect of contributing to national and global sustainability development initiatives. We are also highly motivated by principles of ethics and the equitable distribution of business opportunities for Barbadians and our Caribbean brothers and sisters.
Q: What does success look like for you?
A: Success for GoodridgePower is an authentic crafting of a comprehensively empowering culture. For us, being successful must incorporate becoming a sustainable business entity as well as significantly empowering all our stakeholders.
Q: What advice would you give to other aspiring cleantech innovators?
A: Our primary advice to aspiring cleantech innovators would be to adopt a learning and discovery approach to your business start-up. Constantly validate your business ideas and make the most of participating in an environment with like-minded people by sharing and interacting openly.