Tourism Workshop – Bren Romney, Innovation Director Anguilla

Tourism Workshop – Bren Romney, Innovation Director Anguilla

Bren Romney, who was a Moderator of the Workshop, detailed Anguilla’s plans to build a state-of-the-art business incubator on Anguilla dedicated to innovation.

The space will stimulate collaboration and entrepreneurship, creating employment for youth, enhancing the experience of visitors, increasing incomes of the people of Anguilla, he said.

Specifically, the business incubator will:

help convert start-ups and ideas into viable businesses;

foster creativity and collaboration;

target young Anguillians in ICT, creative industry, light manufacturing and professional services and

encourage App developers from around the world to come to Anguilla.

incubator tourism news Anguilla
Innovative Business Lab in the British Virgin Islands

Innovative Business Lab in the British Virgin Islands

BVI pilot project aims to provide the necessary development assistance to persons seeking to develop new innovative ideas or establish innovative businesses thereby creating new niche markets through the establishment of Innovative Business Lab (ILB). Business incubation, as an economic tool, has become increasingly common around the world for stimulating development of the SME sectors. Innovative Business Lab would provide facilities and services to promote innovation driven small-business growth. Small business incubators have proven to be effective economic development tools. In fact, innovation driven businesses having incubation style support have a dramatically higher rate of survival than an average start-up business does.

Propelling innovation in the economic sector and successful economic diversification in the private sector should be principal tasks of the Innovative Business Lab. With this goal partnership of the public sector with the private sector needs to be enhanced around Innovation as key driver for sustainable growth based on permanent consultations and developing the most adequate legislative, financial and fiscal measures to implement systemic innovation in BVI.

The incubation programme will seek relationships within the region and the local economy, as a means of integrating regionally through the establishment of networks. Such networks will be established through the regional virtual incubator, which is now being developed through the COSME programme for connecting Caribbean incubation centers within OCTs.

incubator British Virgin Islands EU programme Caribbean SME support news Lizette O. George
Innovate, a workshop on business incubation

Innovate, a workshop on business incubation

Young Corporate Alliance TCI and Invest TCI invited Alan Cooper, OCTA Innovation short-term expert to moderate a workshop on business incubation and green enterprises on June 17th 2017.

INNOVATE was a workshop geared at helping the government and private sector participants develop a roadmap for creating business incubators which are relevant to their territory.

Simultaneously, such incubators aim specifically to inculcate green innovative (or “eco-innovative”) thinking into their clients from the get-go. To this end the workshop was divided into two segments: one dealing with business incubation and the other dealing with the greening of enterprises. The final part of the workshop integrated the two elements.

The Incubator planning team said “what Alan imparted was very informative and useful. We are currently in the initial stage of the incubator planning and Alan’s advice and recommendations came at an opportune time which prompt the need to review our plans and make the necessary adjustments to ensure the successful operation of the Incubator.”

It was even proposed to Alan Cooper to have a do over for this workshop to invite more key stakeholders who can benefit tremendously from his expert knowledge in the field of green business and incubators.

incubator green economy SME support news Turks and Caicos Islands OCT events
Workshop on business incubation and green enterprises in St Eustatius

Workshop on business incubation and green enterprises in St Eustatius

In March 2017, Mr. Alan Cooper, OCTA Innovation short-term expert, gave a workshop on Business Incubation and green enterprise innovation in St Eustatius.

Purpose of Workshop

The purpose of this workshop was to help government and private sector participants develop a roadmap for creating business incubators which are relevant to their territory. Simultaneously, such incubators aim specifically to inculcate green innovative (or “eco-innovative”) thinking into their clients from the get-go. To this end the workshop was divided into two segments: one dealing with business incubation and the other dealing with the greening of enterprises. The final part of the workshop integrated the two elements.


The island nations in general and Overseas Countries and Territories in particular have very high import ratios and utilise a small range activities for generating either export or substitution of import. The need for increased quality of the local services and products and the need for diversification is constant and pressing. There is an urgent need for entrepreneurship among all Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories. Besides the fact that most businesses are traditional with regard to their use of electricity, water and other resources, a substantial part of less skilled activities relate to fishing (fish, lobsters, shrimp and the like). Islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change and global warming and this is the case with these islands. These can have serious negative impacts upon the natural environment over time. Therefore, there is need for environmentally sustainable business and businesses which are carbon neutral.

Green enterprises are those based upon 3 pillars: (1) decent work and respect for people, (2) respect for the planet and (3) aiming to make a profit. They are businesses with strive to be carbon neutral through resource efficiency. Green business activities and environmental sustainable methods of managing business are still considered innovative; they are as yet not the mainstream.

This training aimed at addressing the two challenges: the need for fostering business development and the need for inculcating green practices in those businesses.


By the end of the workshop participants:

• Had a clear idea of how to conceptualise and create a business incubator.

• Were able to identify potential partner organisations for creating successful business incubators (accelerators or hatcheries).

• Identified key partner organisations for fostering greening of the businesses in incubators.

• Knew how to use contemporary tools for introducing innovation in enterprises.

• Were able to do a simple conceptual greening of enterprises and value chains.

incubator green economy Caribbean SME support news Roy Hooker OCT events
Business Plan Innovation Award in Anguilla

Business Plan Innovation Award in Anguilla

Bren Romney, our Innovation Manager from Anguilla, Director of the Department of Youth and Culture in the Government has informed us that they provide annual Business Plan Innovation Awards to young entrepreneurs.

Criteria for awarding Business Plan Innovation Awards to entrepreneurs of the Anguilla GET SET programme:


The Award is open to participants and beneficiaries of GET SET. The Business Plan entered may relate to a product, a process, or a service in any legitimate area.


A panel of the GET SET MAB members with co-opted members of partner organizations, as decided, will review the entries and select the winners based on criteria which include:

  • The level of creativity
  • The Quality of preparation
  • The Potential impact of the business

The consensus decision of the judges is final. The judges may disqualify entries that are incomplete, unclear, in dispute, or deemed not relevant to Anguilla.

The Awards

The Business Plan Innovation Award will be a grant to the successful entrant in the sum of XCD$5,000.00 paid towards the business undertaking. Merit Awards of XCD$1,000.00 each will be awarded to five entrants.

Criteria for the BPIA:

  • The Award will go to the winner that has shown clear originality in researching, creating, marketing / promoting and thoroughness of financial projections related to the products or services.
  • The product and / or service should have good potential to be a local leader / market leader.
  • The product and/ or service should have good potential to become a regional market leader.
  • The plan must demonstrate a sustainable business model and commercial viability.
  • The product or service must demonstrate a clear benefit to community and national development and be sensitive to the local environment.
  • The proposed business should demonstrate exploitation of local / indigenous products as well as technology.
  • The owner / entrepreneur must play a strategic and active role in the business or enterprise.

A total of 100 points are allocated in the following manner:

  • Originality In Research Business Idea / Type: 20
  • Product/Service Potential To Be Market Leader (Locally): 10
  • Product/Service Potential To Be Market Leader (Regionally): 5
  • Is The Business Model Sustainable & Commercially Viable: 10
  • Is Product/Service Beneficial To Community / Country: 15
  • Does Business Use Local Products / Technology: 15
  • Are The Financial Statements & Projections Coherent with Plan: 10
  • Is Owner Active / Strategic In Business: 15


incubator SME support news Anguilla
Supporting the Turks and Caicos Islands’ budding entrepreneurs

Supporting the Turks and Caicos Islands’ budding entrepreneurs


Leader of OCTA Innovation, Milan Jezic von Gesseneck, has discussed support for a workshop to further the business skills of young people in Turks and Caicos.

It was one of the subjects raised at a meeting between Mr Jezic von Gesseneck and Innovation Manager of Turks and Caicos, Alexa Cooper-Grant with Young Corporate Alliance (YCA) on October 27th.

The OCTA Innovation Leader suggested a workshop could focus on learning from best practice: business incubators and accelerators, the green economy and certification.

YCA is building the business acumen of young professionals and entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Its activities include forging partnerships with private sector bodies and business leaders and organising workshops and lectures to share knowledge and empower the island’s rising economic operators.

It has enlisted law firms, banks, marketing specialists, and insurance companies to offer discount rates to young locals with a YCA membership during their first year in business. 

Find out more about YCA

incubator good practice SME support news Innovation Missions Alexa-Cooper-Grant Jezic von Gesseneck
Les start-ups

Les start-ups


Une start-up est une jeune entreprise innovante avec une ambition mondiale qui a su faire la démonstration de la pertinence et de la viabilité de son modèle d’affaires. Son objectif est une croissance forte et rapide pour prendre une place à l’échelle mondiale.

Si la Silicon Valley (San Francisco) occupe le haut du classement des écosystèmes de la tech mondiale, l’Europe entend s’affirmer dans ce secteur autour d’écosystèmes dynamiques qui se structurent autour de Londres, Berlin et Paris. Avec le succès d’entreprises « Licornes* » comme CRITEO et BlabBlaCar fers de lance de la dynamique FRENCH TECH, de nombreux investisseurs américains s’intéressent désormais à la France comme une terre de startups.

* une startup valorisée à plus d’un milliard de dollars.

incubator news Saint Pierre and Miquelon Olivier Gaston
Curaçao’s Connecting the Dots Inspire, Innovate and Accelerate Business Conference is a fact!

Curaçao’s Connecting the Dots Inspire, Innovate and Accelerate Business Conference is a fact!

Curaçao organized the first edition of ‘Connecting the Dots Inspire, Innovate and Accelerate Business Conference’ from October 19 up to 22, 2016.

The conference is a continuation to the ‘Innovate your Business Now’ Innovation seminar for SME’s in Curaçao which was organized earlier this year in on March 23, 2016.

During the ‘Innovate your Business Now’ seminar in March several speakers from the Netherlands and the Caribbean region that have successfully applied innovation in their business (smart, creative and green) got the opportunity to share their story with around 200 participants. In the end, the participants indicated that they would like to hear more stories from local entrepreneurs and also receive more practical information that would help them innovate their business.

As a result, the organizing team came with a 3 full day business conference containing inspiring local and international keynotes in the morning, enlightening workshops in the afternoon and exciting networking events in the evening addressing the theme: Inspire, Innovate and Accelerate. The goal of the conference is to stimulate entrepreneurs of local SME’s and aspiring young entrepreneurs to be more innovative and also grow their business. Another objective is to promote more cooperation between the different stakeholders and connect initiatives.

The platform behind ‘Connecting the Dots’ consists of the Ministry of Economic Development of Curaçao, University of Curaçao, Curaçao Technology and Innovation Institute, Startup Curaçao, Curaçao Investment & Export Promotion Agency, National Platform for Youth Development and the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands in Willemstad.

The opening night of the conference and networking event themed “Our biggest screw ups” started with a bang and you could feel the level of excitement increase as the speakers shared their stories of failure in their entrepreneurial journey with the public. After the eloquent speech by the Minister of Economic Development, 3 local entrepreneurs each with a different story shared their lessons learned from passed mistakes in order to prevent others from making the same errors.

The following days of Inspire, Innovate and Accelerate featured surprisingly great speakers such as the local entrepreneur Ana Freitas Frias from Integra Natural, interactive workshops, creative processes (‘Effectual Idea Lab’ networking event), bonding (creation of a community), new topics like setting up a tech business, fintech, trends and trend watching, challenger marketing, wonderful examples of determination, execution and acceleration (Curaloe, ATECH), dialogue on the creative sector and food industry and new insights and tips like, how every successful entrepreneur needs a ‘hacker’, ‘hipster’ and ‘hustler’ (by Oscar Kneppers).

Curaçao looks back at a wonderful conference with great potential for further development.

For more information visit: or


incubator Curaçao innovation network news Fiona Curie
BIC Nomination – Instant recognition

BIC Nomination – Instant recognition


Recent BIC (Business, Innovation, Creativity) nomination of TEDxAruba by OCTA Innovation has already created a stir in Aruba and elsewhere. With frontage news (see below, in Dutch), BIC Award gets high visibility propelling innovation and creativity nationally, and supporting recognition of the EU Association of Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTA) and the European Union.

The objective of BIC Award is to recognise and support initiatives at the Overseas Countries and Territories.



creative industry incubator Aruba tech innovation educational innovation good practice news Bianca Peters
Meeting the enterprise at ground zero

Meeting the enterprise at ground zero


The best time and place to introduce the concepts and practice of innovation and eco-innovation to businesses is when the enterprises are young or in their formative stages. This introduces the concept of business hatcheries, incubators and accelerators. Incubators are one-stop shops where the most promising entrepreneurs are selected to receive business training, advice, mentorship support, an operating space and funding support in a coordinated manner over a fixed period of time. While hatcheries tend to focus upon starting new enterprises, and accelerators focus upon speeding an enterprise along the path to success, both hatcheries and accelerators may be linked to incubator networks.

Incubators have been a feature of large developed countries for decades, and their presence in Latin America is well established, only since the 2008 onwards have incubators been features of the business landscapes in in Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Within the OCTs, there is a growing incubator movement in Curacao. Since incubators provide multidimensional support, they usually represent the nexus between various government and private sector agencies and specialist lending agencies. Going forward, an incubator type system will be essential to the growth and development new entrepreneurial capacity in the OCTs. It should include training modules emphasising innovation and eco-innovation in particular, for which purpose it will be important to have strategic linkages with international partners. There is also a strong case for alternative forms of funding such as crowdfunding and angel investment which are currently gaining some currency in developing countries.

creative industry incubator green economy Caribbean SME support news