As the entrepreneurial landscape in the OECS continues to evolve, the OECS Commission recognises the critical role of fostering innovation, building capacity, and driving economic growth. Through this collaboration and support of other key private sector partners, the program is set to transform the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the OECS Member States and unlock the full potential of technology based startups.
The program unfolds in two transformative phases designed to equip startups with the necessary tools for success. In the first phase, up to 200 startups will be selected to participate in an intensive Virtual Accelerator Programme, covering key areas such as Technology of the Future, Fundamentals of Growth and Sales, Fundraising, Leadership and Team Building and Business Pitches. The program will continue with a second phase where 30 of the high growth potential start-ups participate in Draper University five-week Hero Training Program. Providing participants the opportunity to delve into an unparalleled experience, engaging with industry titians, visiting renowned tech companies and immersing themselves in the vibrant innovation ecosystem in Silicon Valley.
OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules indicated that the program will go a long way towards actualising the strategic objectives of the OECS Commission. He reiterated on the Commission’s goal to revolutionize the entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the OECS Member States, with the OECS Global Startup Hub being evidence of this. Dr. Jules also extended an invitation to other stakeholders, partners and institutions to join this initiative and pledge their support and alliance to MSMEs in order to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the region. He continued,
“Together, united, we will forge an unbreakable alliance to strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem of our region, fortify and nurture the development of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), and advance innovation that shall provide a better quality of life for the people of the OECS”
The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) envisions that its partnership with the OECS on the Global Startup Hub will help to empower youth and women and strengthen economic development initiatives linked to digital transformation.
According to Lisa Harding, Head (Ag.), Private Sector Development at the Caribbean Development Bank,
‘’This partnership with the OECS is a demonstration of CDB’s continued efforts to leverage its resources by collaborating with other development partners in the Region on projects aligned with the Bank’s agenda to support private sector development which includes the strengthening of entrepreneurial ecosystems, specifically in the provision of access to finance, innovation and the use of technology to enable innovative and transformative development solutions. CDB envisions that this Project will ultimately empower beneficiary youth and women and provide opportunities to strengthen economic development initiatives linked to digital transformation, a key element of the economy of the future,”
Start-ups from nine OECS Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, British Virgin Islands) are strongly encouraged to apply for this life-changing opportunity. To be eligible to apply, a start up must have high growth potential, with scalable ideas and operate in the technology industry or in other industries that are interested in introducing technology to scale their business operations.
Applications are now open and will close on August 25, 2023. For more information and to apply for the program, please visit https://bit.ly/OECSGlobalStartUpHub .