The Caribbean Green Tech Startup Bootcamp begins today and runs through Thursday. It is being held at the St. Kitts and Nevis Customs and Excise Department. The event is being hosted by the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre. Clean tech entrepreneurs were encouraged to attend to access basic business education, mentorship and finance in order to further develop their green sector businesses. This is the 13th bootcamp to be held in the Caribbean.
Tameka Lee of the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC), who is also the Programme Director of the Bootcamp, stated that Clean Tech Entrepreneurs face challenges in the green sector in terms of assistance and support in building out their businesses. “Because Clean Tech is a relatively new phenomenon, we don’t have the entrepreneurial support that other entrepreneurs can get,” she said. “This is why it is important for us at the CCIC to collaborate with other entities to help buildout the ecosystem so that all those entrepreneurs with solutions in this green sector can have that entrepreneurial support that they need. Whether it’s access to finance, mentorship, guidance, any technical assistance, they can have all of those opportunities and access through us helping to build out the ecosystem.”
When the bootcamp ends, the entrepreneurs should be able to leave with business models, which can even be taken to the commercialization stage. So they can have a product or refined service at the end and even if it’s not refined, definitely afterwards they will be getting further assistance from the Ministry of International Trade,” Lee said.
She said the bootcamp is just the first step. Entrepreneurs can enter into the Accelerator Programme, which Lee said will receive give them a more advanced business education, access to finance, access to markets, access to the CCIC network, mentorship support and more for one year.
The CCIC and the Ministry of Trade hosted a idea generation session yesterday at the Customs and Excise Department, leading up to the Caribbean Green Tech Bootcamp. In the session, green sector experts gave entrepreneurs the guidance and support on how to generate new ideas to create viable green businesses.