November 17, 2019

Accelerating Caribbean Fashion

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Bridgetown, BARBADOS, May 15, 2019. Caribbean fashion and contemporary designers are getting a boost to help them penetrate the international market, through an accelerator programme jointly funded by the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in cooperation with the European Union and the Caribbean Development Bank (). The Bank’s funding is through its Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).

Starting on May 6th, twenty (20) designers from across the region have been participating in an intensive boot camp-style workshop led by Sandra Carr, one of the pioneers of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. The twenty (20) participants will work with an expert team to refine their products for the export market, and they will go through a process of identifying where best to place their products; and how to develop their brand. They will also learn how to leverage social media platforms to reach their target audience and develop a go to market strategy. The programme runs until May 17th.

“We received 70 applications to participate in this programme, which has been devised specifically to get the designers to a certain point where they can capitalise further on future aspects of the programme such as the grants from CDB and participation at the Caribbean Fashion Showroom” commented Allyson Francis, Services Specialist at Caribbean Export.

Caribbean Export and CDB through its Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF), are collaborating to enable a larger cadre of professionals within the Creative Industries to access critical resources. Caribbean Export has gained resources from the European Union as part of the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP). The Agency’s collaboration with CDB has enabled the pooling of resources to provide added support to the region’s fashion industry.

After completing the workshop, participating designers from CDB member countries will become eligible to apply for a CIIF Improving the Competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) grant and also gain access to Caribbean Export’s market integration platform the Caribbean Fashion Showroom.

“We are extremely pleased with the response by our Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs)to the opportunity being provided through this fashion accelerator, and we are delighted that the beneficiaries of the programme come from 13 of CDB’s 19 BMCs. It is an excellent opportunity for designers to network, share experiences and learn from each other. Over the 10 days, designers have benefited from the tutelage of more than five influencers and experts in the fashion industry. This capacity building intervention is a key component of CIIF, which seeks to improve the competitiveness of creative industries practitioners in the Region” shared Lisa Harding, MSME Coordinator at CDB.

About Caribbean Export

Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organisation of the Forum of Caribbean States (CARIFORUM) currently executing the Regional Private Sector Programme (RPSDP) funded by the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Caribbean Export’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective programme execution and strategic alliances.

More information about Caribbean Export can be found at www.carib-export.com. Contact: JoEllen Laryea, PR and Communications, Caribbean Export Development Agency, Tel: +1(246) 436-0578, Fax: +1(246) 436-9999, Email: [email protected]

About the Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF) at CDB

The Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF) was established in 2017 with an initial USD2.6 million in capitalisation from the Caribbean Development Bank. It is intended to be a multi-donor fund, which will support the development of the creative industries (CI) sector in the Caribbean and encourage innovation, job creation and improved enterprise sustainability by providing grant financing and technical assistance (TA) to creative/cultural entrepreneurs, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), business support organisations (BSO) and academia, which support the CIs sector in CDB’s Borrowing Member Countries (BMC. CIIF’s goal is to enable the region’s cultural and creative industries to be globally competitive.

www.caribank.org/ciif

For more information on CIIF, contact Dr. Marielle Barrow Maignan, CIIF Coordinator, Caribbean Development Bank, Tel: 246 431 1693, Email: [email protected].

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