Local green entrepreneurs who participated in the accelerator and incubator programs of Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative (ECEI) were recognized at an End of Program Showcase..
The event was held by partner Business Support Organization (BSO) for St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the Centre for Enterprise Development Inc (CED), to mark the end of the third and final cohort of the ECGI, implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGI). It gave programme participants an opportunity to share their experiences and showcase their products and services/prototypes.
Speaking at the Showcase, GGGI’s Communications Assistant, Mr. Dinesh Daswani, commended the Vincentian entrepreneurs, describing the journey through the three-year program as “amazing” and “transformative”.
“Your dedication, innovation and unwavering commitment to sustainable practices have not only contributed to the growth of individual enterprises, but have also played a vital role in shaping a sustainable future we all aspire achieve,” he stated.
Mr. Daswani noted that through the program, the entrepreneurs have been “pioneers of change, champions of the cause that extends far beyond the confines of business”, and that this will light the pathways to a greener and more resilient future.
“One of the fundamental lessons we’ve learned is that green entrepreneurship is not merely a business model; it is a catalyst for positive change. In small island developing states like ours, where the delicate balance of ecosystems is often under threat, your initiatives have proven that economic development can coexist harmoniously with environmental and social stewardship.”
“Over the past few years, we have witnessed remarkable strides in fostering a culture of sustainable business practices across the Eastern Caribbean. The greenpreneurs in this region have not merely embraced the concept of environmental and social consciousness; they have been pioneers of change, champions of the cause that extends far beyond the confines of a business. Your endeavours have become beacons of hope, illuminating the path towards a greener and more resilient future.”
Officer in Charge of the CED, Miss Keisha Phillips, lauded the regional project as an initiative that has set the green entrepreneurs on their paths to develop their business ideas and businesses into successful role models in the green industry.
“The GGGI project is indeed a welcome and very important one that is helping entrepreneurs to develop their business ideas and businesses in order to manage the impact of their operations on the local environment, communities and economy by minimizing any adverse effects,” she said. “I want to publicly, on behalf of CED, commend these green entrepreneurs (greenpreneurs) and also the GGGI for its dedication to equipping countries lude ours with the requisite information and skills need to grow vibrant green businesses.”
Meanwhile, Mr. Shane Compton, owner of SVG Microgreens, who was last month awarded a $US$10,000 seed grant from the ECEI, was full of praise for the GGGI.
“The GGGI program has given me a ten-thousand-foot view of my business so to speak. They have provided me with a blueprint I could look at… I am grateful to GGGI, CED, Miss Phillips always checking in and the media. Thank you very much and I look forward to doing great things.”
Another grant recipient from the second cohort of the project, Mrs. Gordon Shallow of The Plant Doctor,
“I want to say that what GGGI has done for me, and I believe for all the other participants – whether they received a grant or not – is to really impart in us the knowledge…the seed of how to be a real business, an equitable business. I truly believe in this program and I wish that more persons could go in it, and I am putting GGGI on the spot: you guys need to get more donors and whatever because this program needs to continue and likewise the accelerator program that you are doing.”
And one of the mentors in the program, Mr. Franz George, said he was grateful for the experience of being a part of the program.
“ I was go grateful that this program – all be it was a very intense program – really helped change persons’ perspective on business and realize that if you are to be successful as an entrepreneur, and if you are to be the persons to pave the way in the area of green entrepreneurship there’s much more to it than just having an idea and hoping that people eventually endorse that idea,” he said. “…GGGI, I don’t know what else is in the pipeline, but I hope some sort of continuing partnership will be there…Cheers to a good experience and a great program!”
The Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs Incubator program comprised a training and mentoring program designed to support green entrepreneurs to build robust and sustainable business models, and the skills, tools, and confidence to implement them for success. The program featured a 12-week virtual green business training based on the lean start-up methodology, a mentorship program 1-on-1 coaching and networking opportunities culminating in the Business Plan Competition.
The program is part of the Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs Initiative which was launched in 2021 and is being implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in collaboration with the OECS Commission with funding from the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD). The initiative also features a green business Accelerator Program, which supports established green business through interest-free loan financing and access to a green investor network.