Caribbean businesses invited to apply for innovation support grants

Compete Caribbean, a five-year Caribbean private sector development programme, is inviting firms interested in increasing productivity, exports and expanding employment to apply for funds to support their businesses.

According to a press release from Compete Caribbean, the programme involves 15 Caribbean countries and Caribbean firms can benefit from non-repayable grants ranging from US$100,000 to US$500,000. “Compete Caribbean aims to enable the private sector to succeed by supporting the development of effective policies and strategies, creating the right business environment, and helping companies to develop new markets and approaches,” Executive Director Jose Jorge Saavedra said.

In addition, the newly launched Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund is providing matching grants to encourage innovation by Caribbean firms and support their implementation of such projects. To apply, firms are required to submit a brief Project Concept Note. If they pre-qualify, they are then required to submit a detailed Innovative Business Project for consideration by a distinguished panel of Caribbean business executives. The panel will then recommend grant recipients. Grants will be awarded through an open, competitive and transparent process, the release noted.

Compete Caribbean is a US$40M programme based in the Barbados Country Office of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB in partnership with the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the Caribbean International Development Agency (CIDA) established Compete Caribbean to provide technical assistance and investment funding to support productive development policies, business climate reforms, clustering initiatives and SME development activities. CIDA and DFID have together contributed the lion’s share of US$32.55M.

Questions and inquiries can be forwarded to dfs@competecaribbean.org. Also, full details about the Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund are available at www.competecaribbean.org/EICF.

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