(CASTRIES, Saint Lucia – July 12, 2019) – Invest Saint Lucia is today one step closer to the launch of a Business Incubator and Accelerator Programme, designed to foster greater entrepreneurship on the island, through effective nurturing, mentorship and direct access to markets.
Representatives from several local government agencies, banking officials, young entrepreneurs and other key stakeholders, met at the Coco Palm Resort on Tuesday July 9th, 2019 to further concretize the programme and agree upon the ideal framework to guide entrepreneurs seeking to establish successful businesses in the near future. Discussions were led by the international consultants on the project, CREEDA Projects, headed by Julian Webb and Thea Chase.
Speaking at the gathering, Enterprise Development and Consumer Affairs Minister, Honourable Bradley Felix, recognized that in today’s global business environment, entrepreneurship has been the life blood to many economies through evident growth, economic development as well as job creation and as a result, “there needs to be a deliberate attempt to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and continuous improvement among our youth and wider society towards sustainable growth”. The Minister noted that the Government of Saint Lucia through Invest Saint Lucia (ISL), is embarking on strengthening the entrepreneurship ecosystem with the introduction of the business incubator and accelerator programme.
Business incubation and acceleration have been acknowledged as one of the principal means of providing a comprehensive range of business support services that can contribute to the successful establishment
of new micro and small enterprises and the growth of fledgling ones. A business incubator and accelerator’s
main goal is to produce successful firms that will leave the programme with good prospects for future growth and expansion.
A key element of a Business Incubation and Acceleration Programme is that of an incubator space. According to CEO of Invest Saint Lucia, Roderick Cherry “we are now in the final stages of designing an accelerator and incubator program which is expected to be completed by December 2019. This will provide start-ups and existing small businesses with a variety of business support services to further improve business operations”. Cherry further confirmed that “Invest Saint Lucia is eagerly looking forward to the launch of this service, as it is a tremendous avenue for growth of businesses in Saint Lucia, which is of course part of Invest Saint Lucia’s mandate. “
The CEO is of the firm belief that the enhancement of business competitiveness will stimulate the economy, encourage inclusive economic growth, improve on sectoral linkages in the local economy and scale up or assist in the internationalization of local businesses.