Dozen CARIFORUM firms to get huge London Olympics opportunity

Twelve CARIFORUM (CARICOM plus the Dominican Republic) firms will have the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to prospective investors, distributors and retailers in London during the upcoming Olympics.

This was revealed during the recent Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) regional launch of the Break Point at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, St Michael, Barbados, a release, a joint release from the Caribbean Export Development Agency, EU and UK DfID.

The priority areas for Break Point are Agro-processing, Alternative Energy, Creative Industries, Fashion/Garments, Light Manufacturing, Professional Services, and Specialized Tourism.

Caribbean Export says it views the CARIFORUM-EC Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) as a critical catalyst to achieving long term sustainable growth in the Caribbean. It noted that the EPA opens up 27 markets in Europe to CARIFORUM companies.

“The objectives of this concept are to discontinue ineffective mechanisms previously employed, change the old ‘wineskins’ and implement new mechanisms, and cease conducting business as usual. The criteria for Break Point will focus on demand, innovation, brand strength, EPA application, speed to market and management”, said Christopher McNair, Manager -Competitiveness and Innovation during his presentation.

There will be a competition to pick the 12 companies. During the competition, companies will be required to submit a video pitch, expression of interest and executive summary. After the screening, 30 companies will be identified for firm coaching followed by business pitches. Another round of selection will be undertaken on completion of all rounds of pitching. The final 12 firms will then pitch their ideas in London. At the end of the competition, all footage filmed will be produced into a reality television series to be aired across the CARIFORUM region, the release said.

The programme is jointly funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), who have come on board with 500,000 GBP to help drive the success of the initiative, and supported by the European Union’s (EU) 10th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP).

The release said that for further information about Break Point persons can contact Christopher McNair, Manager – Competitiveness and Innovation at cmcnair@carib-export.com or Tel: 246-436-0578.

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