Programme for women entrepreneurs

Programme for women entrepreneurs

Monday, November 30, 2015

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THE Women Innovation Network Caribbean (WINC) recently launched a new peer mentorship acceleration programme to support growth-oriented women-owned businesses in the Caribbean.

The programme, which will start in February 2016, was launched on October 29 through an online application process. Applications closed on Friday.

The WINC programme is being delivered in 12 Caribbean countries by certified facilitators. Jamaica's A Cecile Watson of GR8Way Consulting and Jenni Headlam of JACE Management Consultants are two of only 14 women entrepreneurs who are infoDev certified as facilitators for the programme. They were competitively selected from a field of 167 Caribbean women earlier this year.

Watson, also the Women's Entrepreneur Day world ambassador for Jamaica and the Caribbean, said the programme will enable the women entrepreneurs to work on their businesses in a forum of sharing, collaboration and support.

"When you speak to entrepreneurs, access to capital invariably takes centre stage. Therefore, as a financial empowerment enthusiast, I fully expect that I will have lots of opportunity to share, coach and give guidance on matters related to financial literacy in business and also at the personal level," she said.

Headlam expressed her excitement about what the programme means for women entrepreneurs and Jamaica as a whole.

"It is a chance for women to access the tools and support needed to successfully negotiate the world's competitive business environment," she pointed out.

The new initiative is part of the Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), funded by the Government of Canada and implemented by the World Bank Group and its InfoDev programme for entrepreneurship.

The eight-month intensive programme will provide participants with a supporting environment where they may collaborate with each other through peer-learning to innovate, improve competitiveness, overcome challenges and boost their business growth. The programme will also cater to the personal development needs of the women entrepreneurs through one-to-one mentoring/coaching, technical workshops, and motivational sessions by successful entrepreneur role models.

Each acceleration programme will support up to 15 growth-oriented women entrepreneurs who meet the eligibility criteria of having a firm that has been in business for several years, which has demonstrated significant business growth, and has realistic plans for future growth.

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