April 21, 2021

Caribbean Entrepreneurship Community gets ready for opportunity-driven cooperation

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From South Florida Caribbean News

WASHINGTON, DC – The launch of The Community of Practice for Caribbean Immigrant Entrepreneurs (CoP), on Thursday, November 15 signaled to the Caribbean Community that its business leaders are ready to take charge in making entrepreneurship inclusive at home and in the diaspora.

The strength of that move was marked by the endorsement and commitment by several leaders to support the CoP.  CoP member Jerrold Johnson and Jamaica National Bank gave his personal promise as well as that of the Bank to advance the work of the CoP.

Vivion Scully of the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO), also gave the Corporation’s support to the CoP.  Scully highlighted industry segments that are ready for investment by Jamaicans and Caribbean nationals who knows the culture and are therefore positioned to succeed and scale-up at an accelerated pace.

In recognition of the need for more relevant curriculum that supports, and responds to pathways and processes of Caribbean entrepreneurship, Dr. Kadamawe K’Nife and The Centre of Excellence in Entrepreneurship (The Centre) at the Mona School of Business and Management (MSBM) have also given their commitment to the CoP.

Dr. K’Nife is already on a path of revolutionizing the preparation of students for ensuring they are “entrepreneur ready”.  Besides capacity building through formal learning opportunities, direct participation by Caribbean based entrepreneurs, joint research between the CoP and the Centre will serve to strengthen two-way learning and cross-training between entrepreneurs at home and in the diaspora. Moreover, it will help to advance existing efforts to make entrepreneurship training even more relevant to our industries and the industries of host cities.

 

“The CoP could not be more perfectly positioned to deliver a solution that is relevant, effective, and inclusive as it relates to access, as well as the facilitation of tacit and tactical learning for entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey ―from the retired to the startup.”, says founder, Meegan Scott. “With its day to day work, connection, research, and market place on the social media platform― Facebook, it is positioned deliver relevant solutions that are inclusive in terms of access to information, markets, and networks as well as financial accessibility”, she added.

Where social media and the CoP hub intersects is fertile ground for the kind of shared knowledge that is equivalent to social capital―a concept supported by Harold Jarche’s framework for Personal Knowledge Mastery (PKM).

In keeping with that model, “the CoP provides a safe environment for testing innovative ideas, market research, and building trust (a challenge in our community, and barrier to doing business).  “The CoP opportunity and its location makes it a compass for leading the movement, and for helping entrepreneurs to find the help they need.”, says Scott.

Beyond those possibilities and that rich ecosystem―is the point of intersection and application of tacit and implicit knowledge from CoP to work teams in individual businesses, the CoP, and supporting entities and partners such as JAMPRO, Jamaica National, UWI, and host cities for innovation and co-creation of value. “It is at that intersection that we will see solutions to social problems, scaling-up of Caribbean businesses to mainstream businesses with an ethnic or local Caribbean flavor, job, intellectual property, and wealth creation.”, noted Scott.

The CoP will not leave behind excluded groups in host countries and places from which the DNA of Caribbeans originate.  CoP membership for bringing additional perspectives and networks have been opened to Canadians with no family history of business, African-Americans, Africans at home, and Canadian immigrant entrepreneurs who are not native speakers of the English language.

The Caribbean should not be fooled by some of the strongest voices that shout inclusiveness, many find it difficult to partner with Caribbean serving initiatives for GEW.  However, they will partner where they seek to establish their brands and stamp on the perceived colour and leadership in entrepreneurship.

The importance of ethnic media in creating awareness, educating, and providing the right spaces for connecting with Caribbean markets, effective messages for supporting advertising, and supporting the growth of the Caribbean business community was evident during GEW.

Besides those roles Carlton Joseph of the Caribbean Camera who was introduced to the CoP by Anthony Joseph, President of the Camera and CoP member, delivered a message that was well received. His message included the story of how he as an immigrant from Trinidad and Tobago grew a $2M dollar operation that employed 200 individuals in the USA.

Besides CoP members other individuals in Canada’s Black Community Support groups on Facebook, New York Startup Groups, and members of the Caribbean community in the Caribbean have been inspired by his story and message.

Ian Hamilton and the South Florida Caribbean News Team partnered with us to share the GEW message and celebrations with members of the Caribbean Diaspora in Washington DC, South Florida, and the rest of the USA.

The wind of change also blew in Surabaya, Indonesia on November 16, 2018 when GEN announced the launch of GEN Accelerates, “an initiative to support capacity-building and program development for entrepreneur support organizations and governments”. GEN Accelerates aims to unleash the power of regional and global networks to bring tested and validated solutions, and expertise from around the world directly to change makers”, noted Mark Marich, executive vice president of GEN.

In December of 2017, Magate Wildhorse Ltd., committed to delivering the CoP as its major social impact activity for its “Iron Year of Truth and Good”, that GEN is launching an initiative with a similar intent at global level means this coincidence signals the proposed paths to progress move in the right direction.

The CoP looks forward to the participation of the Caribbean in the larger movement but more so in one with a razor-sharp focused on its unique needs.

The panel discussion―Born Global & Born-Again Global Businesses: Pathways to Internationalization (Caribbean Immigrant Entrepreneurs & Peer Entrepreneurs), resonated well with many foreign and local talent.

Hours after the release of the findings, one Caribbean talent unaware of the discussion was fighting against the very barriers discussed, on LinkedIn.

Home country, diaspora connections, reputation, conferences and trade missions such as one hosted by JAMPRO that landed one panelist seven (7) hotel contracts and brought FDI in the form of the establishment of the Food Hygiene Bureau in Barbados were cited as the main accelerators of the growth of both born global and born-again businessesthat trade in professional services or complex products.

The Panelist included CoP members Loretta Green-Williams, Caribeme Magazine (USA), Marguerite Orane, Free & Laughing (Canada), Marva Hewitt, Food Hygiene Bureau (UK), Tamu Petra Browne, Innovative Education and Training Solutions (St. Kitts and Nevis), Lester de Souza, Impact Galaxy (Canada). The panel was moderated by Meegan Scott of Magate Wildhorse Ltd., (Canada).

How to deliver a Killer Pitch webinar by Precious L. Williams of the US, and “How to Use Tokens (Digital Coins) for Liquidity and Growth” by Telly Onu, Digital Economist from St. Kitts were winners. While Alumni Associations are still on the learning curve in these matters Hope Greaves Johnson of Manchester High Alumni (MHS) USA, Dania Wraye of MHS Toronto, and Elaine McPherson of Westwood High were on hand to share messages or contribute to the event and CoP.

During the celebrations 99% of Caribbean men and 100% of women responding to the Camera’s Views on News question “Do you believe more women entrepreneurs will drive large-scale economic growth?”, felt the investment in women will deliver large-scale economic growth. If their assertions are backed by action, we can see the Caribbean Community contributing significantly to Canada’s goal of growing its base of Womenpreneur from 16% to over 30% by 2025.

For more on this story go to: https://sflcn.com/caribbean-entrepreneurship-community-gets-ready-for-opportunity-driven-cooperation/

IMAGE: LOGO The Community of Practice for Caribbean Immigrant Entrepreneurs (CoP)

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