Young people in the Caribbean encouraged to tap into their potential to Innovate

Bridgetown, DC, September 5, 2014—In the framework of the XXII Inter-American Congress of Ministers and High-Level Authorities of Tourism, celebrated in Barbados Sept 3 and 4, YABT Executive Director Valerie Lorena conducted the Caribbean Innovation Challenge (CIC) Launching at the UN House (Marine Gardens, Hastings, Christ Church). The CIC is a competition open to young entrepreneurs from the Caribbean between 18 and 34 years.

For its Second Edition, the CIC will receive submissions in Three Categories: Social Innovation, Economic Innovation and Environmental Innovation. The CIC will identify, support and facilitate Caribbean representation to the Finals, Expo and Awards Ceremony of the Hemispheric Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas - TIC Americas 20015; to be held in April 2015 in Panama City, Panama.

During the launching, specials remarks were given by Ms. Sherry Tross, Executive Secretary for Integral Development of the Organization of American States (OAS) who expressed “CARIBBEAN youth, who have the talent to create new thriving businesses within the region, and only need the support to do so”

Lara Blanco, UNDP Deputy Representative invited the international community to join efforts: “I call on each of you to work with us to create an environment that supports these young entrepreneurs. Let us pursue an ideal where entrepreneurship will be a means of economic empowerment for young people and contribute to the development of their countries, and of addressing the high levels of youth unemployment across the region.”

Moreover, Mr. Dale Trotman, CIC finalist, gave a testimonial of the positive impact that has had CIC in finding new markets for his health services company, MedRegis. Ambassador John Beale, Permanent Representative of Barbados to the OAS and Vice-Chair of the YABT Board of Directors and Dr. Francis McBarnette, OAS Representative to Barbados, both in attendance, express their continuous commitment and support to the Programme.

A Special Presentation of the CIC and TIC Americas was addressed to participants of the Ministerial Congress, offering YABT’s Innovation Competitions as tools to spur innovation and entrepreneurship in the Americas.

YABT is committed to continue providing opportunities to young people in the Caribbean. YABT is proud to work with private sector organizations like PepsiCo and cbc and with cooperation agencies like MASHAV, UNDP and the OAS to connect, exchange, and implement entrepreneurship programs — focused on the social, economic and environmental spheres.

Former US Ambassador to Barbados and the Caribbean and Founding Chair of the YABT; H.E. Jeanette W. Hyde sent a special note to participants in the light of the Launch:

"From my years as Ambassador to seventeen countries in the region, I know from personal experience that there are many talented young people and they have great potential to realize their dreams. That's why I joined with the OAS to create YABT. Fifteen years later, I still believe in its work. I invite both governments and the private sector to join me in actively supporting the Caribbean Innovation Challenge because entrepreneurship is fundamental to everyone's future."

The CIC online platform is now open for registrations. In order to register, participants only need to send a concept idea and the list of team members. To advance in the competition, registered teams can take advantage of YABT’s online training sessions which will help them to complete the competition deliverables: business plan, graphic presentation and internet presence. The deadline to submit all components that will is due January 10, 2015. Only teams who successfully submit all deliverables will pass to the evaluation phase.

The CIC teams that will move to the next round and represent the Caribbean at the Hemispheric TIC Americas will be announced on March 6th, 2015. They will then have one month to prepare their presentations to compete for the CIC Award at the Finals, Expo and Awards Ceremony of the tenth edition of TIC Americas in Panama City in April, 2015.

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