Starting and running a successful business is a challenge for any entrepreneur, but for first time start-ups, one of the major issues that they face is a lack of knowledge of basic business tools and where to turn for advice. For at least 15 technology start-up companies from Barbados, Trinidad and the Eastern Caribbean though, this is no longer an insurmountable challenge, as they recently participated in a 3-day Bootcamp geared towards providing them with key tools to launch and grow their own software-based company.
Hosted by The World Bank, in partnership with the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), Devlabs, and Startup Jamaica, the Bootcamp took place during February 14th-17th at the Accra Beach Hotel in Barbados. It provided participants with the basic business and product development tools and techniques needed to start a software-based company. Participants also developed actionable business plans, created websites for their products, and learnt how to scale their sales processes and generate revenue quickly.
Lisa Harding, Operations Officer at CDB, noted that facilitating entrepreneurship, particularly for firms using technology as an enabler, has the potential to contribute to economic growth and diversification of the region. “This is a focus area for CDB, because of the role it can play in employment generation for the region’s youth, while promoting the ICT as a channel for economic diversification. These emerging sectors are environments in which we can compete in on a global scale, as success is not driven by the size of the countries or economies, but rather, by our intellectual ability and creativity.”
CDB’s support for the bootcamp is part of a wider Caribbean Animation and Technology Capacity Building Programme (Carib-AniTech), designed to promote the growth and development of the animation and mobile applications software development sectors. Carib-AniTech is a 2-year programme which will leverage the development framework currently available in Jamaica to enhance outreach to include Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. The World Bank has overall responsibility for the execution of Carib-AniTech, with support from CDB.