The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) has pledged its commitment to encourage entrepreneurship in new growth areas for the Caribbean, including Barbados, and noted it was pleased to partner with Export Barbados recently to facilitate enterprise in the blue economy.
Dr Sylvia Dohnert, Executive Director of CCPF, spoke to this recently as Export Barbados and the CCPF successfully concluded their Ocean Challenge, allowing three firms to implement their blue economy innovation projects. The projects that will receive support are:
1. DigiFish – Dr Shelly-Ann Cox of Blue Shell Productions
2. Blue Bot Project – Antonio Hollingsworth of Bajan Digital Creations Inc.
3. Skeete’s Bay Market – Michael Hinds, Westpoint Culinary Inc.
“In the blue economy, we’ve actually earmarked US$4.5 million to invest in a global economy, not only to support entrepreneurs, but for example, we supported the Ministry of the Blue Economy in its previous iteration, and continue to support the Ministry of the Environment that has absorbed that portfolio, with a blue economy policy roadmap for Barbados. We also provide support for clusters in the blue economy, but those projects are outside Barbados,” she said.
Regarding the Ocean Challenge, Dr. Dohnert said the collaboration between CCPF and Export Barbados allowed for the pooling of resources to assist in building out prospective projects in the blue economy. She added that through the Challenge process, they have identified Barbadian entrepreneurs with good business propositions and are now prepared to help them take their ideas to the next level.
The Executive Director explained that each project would have an incubation period and access up to US$20,000 to test their pilots. She added that after the incubation, they would be eligible to receive up to US$100,000 in financing.