Entrepreneurs in the Caymans are benefitting from the COSME programme financed by the European Union’s 10th European Development Fund (EDF). It is contributing to sustainable and climate-resilient economic diversification and prosperity of the Caribbean OCTs by improving the competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).
Altogether, MSMEs in 12 Caribbean OCTs are participating in targeted events, workshops and networking exercises, all aimed at enhancing and promoting micro and small and medium-sized businesses.
The programme allowed Olivia B, a leading fashion designer from the Caymans to take part in in ‘Summer Sizzle’ – an event showcasing the region’s latest fashions – held in the British Virgin Islands in July 2016. “It was great to be in an environment of like-minded creative individuals because I don’t feel that there is a lot of promotion of art here in Cayman and fashion design is bottom of the artistic list,” Olivia told a Caymans’ newswire. “It was therefore great to be able to learn more from the wider Caribbean perspective.”
Chuck Thompson, Vice President of the Cayman Islands Agricultural Society, has also benefitted from COSME funding. He participated in an interactive four-day workshop in Suriname, aimed at bringing together business owners within the agricultural sector from the 12 OCTs. “It was a rigorous four days that were well-packed with lots of activities,” Mr. Thompson said. “The first two days were spent visiting farms and fisheries, talking with owners about issues such as agriculture and animal husbandry, through to packaging and processing, certifications and so on. It was eye opening to see the process from A to Z. We then spent two days at a conference which offered unique networking opportunities, allowing us to see how we could work together as agricultural businesses within the Caribbean territories,” he told the Caymans’ newswire.
Also developed under the programme: a platform – CaribConnect – matches entrepreneurs with mentors, as well as with investors and financing institutions.