Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean

Promoting High-Growth and Sustainable Enterprises in the Caribbean The Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the

Promoting High-Growth and Sustainable Enterprises in the Caribbean

The Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) seeks to build a supportive ecosystem for high-growth and sustainable enterprises throughout the Caribbean. The seven-year $20 million program is funded by the government of Canada and implemented by infoDev and the World Bank Group.

Interested in learning more? Here are some frequently asked questions about the program. You can also get in touch at the links below.

Our Initiatives

Accelerate Caribbean: Accelerate Caribbean builds the capacity of regional business enablers through mentorship, training programs, and international study tours.

Access to Finance: The program promotes angel investing and innovative financing in the region through LINK-Caribbean, and contributed to the launch of Jamaica’s first angel network.

Caribbean Climate Innovation Center: The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center connects climate technology entrepreneurs with knowledge, markets, and funding.

Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project: Led by PitchIT Caribbean, the Caribbean Mobile Innovation Project promotes the growth of mobile app businesses through innovation hubs and pitching competitions.

Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean: The program supports women entrepreneurs through webinars and training programs, including the WINC Acceleration Program.


Events Calendar

Highlights

Electricity generation is four times more expensive in the Caribbean than in the United States, and four of the world’s 10 largest generators of garbage per capita are in the Eastern Caribbean. To help the region turn waste into fuel, green entrepreneurs Shavez Walters and Zendini Bibby pitched their innovative business ideas at the GreenTech Bootcamp competition held last December in St. Vincent.

 


Caribbean Transit Solutions: Paving the Way for a More Efficient Caribbean Transportation System

The public transportation market in the Caribbean is in urgent need of modernization, as lack of information and poorly planned transit systems cause significant social and economic challenges. Locals and tourists using buses and taxis often have limited information on the status or arrival time of their transportation, resulting in lost time, being late for work or school, missed appointments, and frustration. Similarly, people who manage these vehicles (owners or insurers) have little or no information on how they are being driven, even though they often occupy the highest risk categories. Caribbean Transit Solutions, based in Barbados, plans to change all this. They provide real-time and on-demand information on public transit as well as private fleets of vehicles.



Entrepreneur is Testing Eco-Friendly Techniques in the Green Heart of Jamaica

In Breadnut Hill, St. Ann, Jamaica, near the famous Dunn’s River Falls, the eco-farm and lodge Durga’s Den sits right in front of one of the most breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea. The farm is growing in popularity by attracting visitors and volunteers from all over the world looking for a nature-immersive, hands-on learning vacation.

 



How to Create a Winning Pitch Deck: Advice from an Expert

Gerard Thomas, co-founder of Launch RockIT in Trinidad and country advisor for the LINK-Caribbean Program, explains how entrepreneurs can prepare and deliver a compelling pitch presentation that can generate attention and interest among investors.

 



Excitement Mounts as Jamaican Tech Entrepreneurs Gear Up for Slush

With Slush, the world’s leading start-up and technology event, coming up Nov. 30-Dec. 1 in Helsinki, Finland, two entrepreneurs from Jamaica are awash with excitement as they gear up to participate in this premier event. The entrepreneurs earned spots in the Slush Global Impact Accelerator (GIA) boot camp program in a competition held by PitchIT Caribbean, and will join other impact-driven entrepreneurs from around the globe. 


Big Potential for Crowdfunding in the Caribbean

The Caribbean has great potential for crowdfunding, provided that the right enabling environment is put in place to promote it. Crowdfunding is the art of raising funds through social, professional, and public networks using the internet. With the rise of this form of financing, there are many crowdfunding success stories, but in the Caribbean among the most successful campaigns is that of the Jamaica bobsled team. In 2014, the team raised over $155,000 using the Indiegogo and Crowdtilt crowdfunding platforms to fund its participation in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia. 


Crowdfunding Has Potential for the Caribbean — Under the Right Conditions

Crowdfunding in the Caribbean could bolster early stage capital markets, entrepreneurship, creativity, economic growth, and employment – provided that policymakers create the right environment. This was revealed in the report “Crowdfunding’s Potential in the Caribbean: A Preliminary Assessment,” commissioned and recently released by infoDev, a global innovation and entrepreneurship program at the World Bank Group.


Three Jamaican teams cop top spots in PitchIT Caribbean Slush GIA Competition

Three teams from Jamaica copped the top spots in the recently held virtual PitchIT Caribbean SLUSH GIA competition. They are now lined up for a coveted interview spot with the Slush 2017 Global Impact Accelerator program panel in Finland. The successful teams are Link Your Purpose, an online career development and mentoring platform; First Responders Technology Ltd, a mobile platform to enable emergency response services; and Braata Box & Co., an online marketplace for local craftspeople, makers, and artisans. The teams were selected from a field of over 40 entries from across CARICOM.


Over Half-Million US Dollars Awarded to Firms at LINK-Caribbean’s Halfway Mark

As the halfway point of the two-year LINK-Caribbean Angel Investment program approaches, over $500,000 USD has been awarded to 14 Caribbean companies to support their development to attract angel investment. The World Bank Group, together with the Caribbean Export Development Agency, launched LINK-Caribbean last September, funded by the government of Canada. The investment facilitation program aims to enable early-stage Caribbean entrepreneurs to raise capital from private investors, particularly business angel investors.


 

WINC Launches Call for Applications for Second Acceleration Program

June 29, 2017

Building on the success of its 2016 Acceleration Program, the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC) is launching its 2017 program. The eight-month peer learning program, which begins in November 2017, is designed to help growth-oriented women entrepreneurs innovate and boost the growth of their businesses.


Regional Climate Tech Partners Gather for Sustainability & Economic Impact Talks

May 31, 2017

To sustain its momentum and improve upon its mandate, the World Bank Group’s Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) will host key representatives from the Bank, government of Canada, CCIC consortium members Scientific Research Council (SRC) and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) as well as other top regional partners for sustainability and economic impact talks at the Holiday Inn in Montego Bay, Jamaica from June 1-2. 

 



More Firms Set to Get Angel Investment

May 25, 2017

The Caribbean Export Development Agency co-hosted the inaugural Caribbean Angel Investor Forum in Montego Bay on May 12, 2017, together with the World Bank Group. The event, which attracted some of the region’s most influential business people, came together to lay the foundation for a more buoyant and active Angel Investor ecosystem within the Caribbean.  

 


Women Entrepreneurs from the Caribbean Soar to New Heights

April 12, 2017

Aine Braithwaite (front center) together with the Grenada graduates.  © Reynaldo Bernard108 proud women entrepreneurs have graduated from the first Acceleration Program (AP) of the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC). They represent a wide variety of sectors: retail, creative, cosmetology, baking, engineering, sports, and manufacturing.


Kenia Mattis: How to ‘Design’ an Online Education Business

January 24, 2017

World Bank at Slush Global Impact AcceleratorThe Women Innovators Network Caribbean (WINC) — a cornerstone initiative of the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean sponsored by the government of Canada — recently concluded its first acceleration program for women entrepreneurs. Designed to jump-start women-led enterprises across the region, the program provided local entrepreneurs with mentorship, training, and networking opportunities. One of them, Kenia Mattis, told us the story of her company and how WINC helped her succeed.



Reperio Offers Gamified Language Learning for Caribbean Youth

25 December 2016

World Bank at Slush Global Impact AcceleratorFour of the Caribbean’s top mobile entrepreneurs traveled to Helsinki, Finland, to participate in the Slush Global Impact Accelerator, a two-week program designed to help impactful entrepreneurs from emerging markets accelerate their businesses and attract financing. We spoke with a business development specialist at Reperio, a Trinidad and Tobago-based language learning company.


To Attract Angel Investors, Caribbean Entrepreneurs Should Think Globally

20 December 2016

Jeremy Bauman at LINK-Caribbean forumHow does an entrepreneur catch the attention of an angel investor? Jeremy Bauman, a senior consultant at the World Bank, shares a glimpse into the mind of an angel investor at the launch of LINK-Caribbean, an initiative to improve access to capital for Caribbean entrepreneurs.


Jamaican Start-Ups Share Solutions for Emerging Markets at Slush

21 November 2016

Jamaica at Slush Global Impact AcceleratorFour of the Caribbean’s top mobile entrepreneurs traveled to Helsinki, Finland, to participate in the Slush Global Impact Accelerator, a two-week program designed to help impactful entrepreneurs from emerging markets accelerate their businesses and attract financing. We spoke with the founders of Jamaica-based start-ups BookFusion and CrimeBot.


Developing the Caribbean Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: EPIC Making its Mark

16 November 2016

EPIC MilestonesAs EPIC enters its sixth year, several major milestones have been recorded. “We are steadily strengthening the capacity of business enablers and local angel investors, and increasing the number of investable growth-oriented entrepreneurs,” said Ganesh Rasagam, Practice Manager of the World Bank Group’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit.




Newlyweds Follow PitchIT Caribbean Win with Angel Backing

21 July 2016

BookFusion Wins First Angels BackingIf he hadn’t claimed that abandoned computer he found while doing construction work, Dwayne Campbell would never have left his chemical engineering track — or developed a hot new digital book-publishing platform.


How to Build a Mentoring Network in the Caribbean

8 July 2016

Building Mentoring Networks in the CaribbeanAccelerate Caribbean’s third professional development webinar focused on how to build effective mentoring networks in the Caribbean. “Don’t forget the diaspora,” said Vimala Palaniswamy, cofounder of Demeter Entrepreneurs Support Network.










Caribbean Entrepreneurs Make Waves at Slush

7 December 2015

Caribbean entrepreneurs participate in Slush Global Impact AcceleratorJamaican tech entrepreneurs Nichole Crawford and Winnie Dzidonu-Genius traveled to Helsinki, Finland, to pitch their businesses at the Slush Global Impact Accelerator, a nine-day bootcamp for social impact entrepreneurs from emerging markets. The first-ever Global Impact Accelerator was a joint program of the World Bank Group, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, and Slush.


New Peer Mentoring Program to Fast Track Women Entrepreneurs in the Caribbean

29 October 2015

New peer mentoring program for Caribbean women entrepreneursA new peer mentorship-based program will support high-potential women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean. The eight-month intensive Acceleration Program will provide participants with a wide range of support services to innovate their businesses, improve their competitiveness, and boost their growth. The program will include one-on-one coaching, technical workshops, and opportunities to connect with successful women entrepreneurs.



Profiling Caribbean Women Entrepreneurs

30 September 2015

New report on Caribbean women entrepreneursA new report fills the information gap related to growth-oriented women entrepreneurs in the Caribbean by drawing on various data sources to estimate their numbers and sectors. The report also introduces the challenges Caribbean women face when attempting to grow their businesses.



Caribbean Coders Win Prizes at Hackathon

26 May 2015

Caribbean programmers participate in regional hackathonTwo mobile developer teams from Jamaica’s University of Technology were awarded the first and second prizes at a Caribbean CodeSprint/Hackathon held in Kingston on May 24-25.







Digital Jamming to the Tune of a Tech-Biz Future

6 March 2014

World Bank co-hosts Digital Jam in JamaicaCaribbean students and techies descended on the headquarters of the University of the West Indies at Mona for Digital Jam 3.0 “Get Up, Start Up” on March 1-2. The juried Mobile Apps competition was the culmination of months of preparation by more than 50 teams of young programmers competing for an assortment of prizes, including a top prize of USD10,000.


Caribbean Climate Innovation Center Launches in Trinidad

28 January 2014

Caribbean Climate Innovation Center launches in TrinidadThe Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) — a hub designed to help clean technology ventures transform the region to a low-carbon economy and create green jobs — has launched in Freeport, Trinidad & Tobago. The business hub is now accepting applications for grants of up to $50,000.


Diaspora Investing: The Business and Investment Interests of the Caribbean Diaspora

12 December 2013

New World Bank / infoDev Report on Caribbean DiasporaA new report by infoDev finds that the Caribbean diaspora is a sizeable, well-educated, and affluent demographic whose large majority is interested in investing in its countries of origin. Supported by the right incentives and policies, diaspora members could play an even larger role in contributing to the region’s development.


EPIC serves all CARICOM countries except Haiti. These countries include Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

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