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.