OECS Crowd Funding Training Workshops

(ZIZ News) — The Organization of Eastern Caribbean States Competitive Business Unit is raising awareness of the dynamics of raising funds through innovative online platforms such as crowd-funding.

The European Union funded workshop, which took place on Friday, gave students and administrators at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College the opportunity to learn about crowd-funding opportunities.

Vision coach for Vision Funder Joy-Anne Headley defines crowd-funding as the art of bringing people together so support a campaign or business.

She says it is important for young businesspersons to know of sources of funding for their business.

“Globally, according to Mass Solutions’ annual crowd funding report, last year there was 74 billion dollars in crowd funding but the Caribbean represented less than 1% of the persons utilizing crowd funding,” she said.

She continued “So when we are as small countries and economies and looking for ways to better put ourselves on a global platform, something like crowd funding, it makes sense to do. It’s in our best interest and the work of the OECS in bringing crowd funding and training around it—how to do it well—across the region is really important because it really is opening access to opportunity to young persons.”

Headley said a wide cross section of the CFBC students showed interest in the workshop.

“It has been very informative having students and not just students focusing on entrepreneurship but we have had students today from the hospitality background, it and really enforcing the fact that entrepreneurship isn’t just within one traditional aspect of business, you can be an entrepreneur in science or the arts or culinary arts and really entrepreneurship itself is a viable thing across different fields and interests,” she said.

Business Development Officer of Innovative Marketing Systems, Marlon Marie says youth empowerment is of great importance to the OECS Commission.

He said, “It is important for us to work closely with the youth. The Director General of the OECS, Dr. Jules is very passionate about youth empowerment and so are many of us in the oecs commission because the youth of today are basically leaders of tomorrow. So we want to ensure that we are up to date with the technologies and tools. What we are trying to do is show them that there are useful ways in which they can use it and use it in the business sense and they can actually make money out of it.”

In January, the OECS CBU made a call for young entrepreneurs from various sectors in the OECS to indicate their interest in attending crowd funding training.

As part of the CBU’s youth driven approach, it was proposed that a series of nineteen one-day training workshops for young entrepreneurs would be conducted in the OECS territories during from February to April 2016.

The team travelled to Nevis for a similar training workshop on Thursday.

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