SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - September 30, 2019, is the last opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the Caribbean Innovation Challenge. Launched on August 15, 2019, local entrepreneurs who have registered businesses through the Chamber of Commerce, are of legal age, and live in the territory can submit their applications through the Challenge website: cic2019.org.
Global humanitarian organization Mercy Corps and Bacardi Limited, the largest privately held spirits company in the world, are awarding 15 innovative local businesses up to $5,000 USD each and access to free mentoring through Mercy Corps’ MicroMentor initiative. MicroMentor is a social platform that enables the world’s largest community of purpose-driven entrepreneurs and business mentors to create powerful connections, solve problems, and build successful businesses together.
Applications for the Caribbean Innovation Challenge will be evaluated by a panel of judges, including local personalities Edsel Gumbs from Qredits, and Loic Bryan from SHTA. Winners will be selected to receive cash prizes of up to $5,000 USD each to implement their business strategy.
The final results will be announced at an awards ceremony held on October 26, 2019, together with the Sint Maarten Innovations, Initiatives, and Industries Link-up Event (SMILE). This will be the second edition of the SMILE tradeshow, the island’s main event that brings together entrepreneurs and business owners focused on innovation and sustainability.
All entrepreneurs are encouraged to make use of the MicroMentor platform is available to all entrepreneurs from Sint Maarten who are seeking to strengthen their business strategies. This free tool will be available after the challenge and can be an effective resource in growing businesses. Studies have shown that entrepreneurs who received mentoring on MicroMentor go on to create an average of two new jobs. Mentored entrepreneurs experienced nearly a 40% increase in revenue, as well as a significantly higher survival rate for their businesses beyond the first year of operations. Entrepreneurs are invited to create their profile by visiting: https://micromentor.org/caribbean.
The Caribbean Innovation Challenge is part of a larger initiative between Mercy Corps and Bacardi to support 200 small businesses in Sint Maarten, and aid recovery and rebuilding efforts in the region. The Caribbean Innovation Challenge is also supported by CC1, Bacardi’s distributor partner in Sint Maarten.