Vincentian among 9 OECS Business Plan Winners

By Admin. Updated 7:25 p.m., Monday, July 4, 2022, Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4).

Vincentian – Risha Alleyne

Vincentian Risha Alleyne is one of nine (9) Organization of Eastern Caribbean States – OECS residents whose business plan for a green business won the favour of judges.

The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) announced on Monday that nine green start-ups have been selected to receive US$10,000 each in seed grants after successfully participating in the first Greenpreneurs Business Plan Competition held in the region.

According to the OECS Press Room, the competition is a culmination of a 12-week green business incubator training, which is part of the Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs Incubator programme.

The Incubator programme was designed to support green enterprises through virtual training based on the social lean canvas methodology and by providing mentorship and networking opportunities.

Alleyne’s business idea is Earth Gold.

Her business idea entails the production of user-friendly , effective range of natural, affordable products for soil health and fertility. It also entails the provision of farm consultations and training communities in soil nutrition practices.

Green Businesses are considered those offering services and products that support the achievement of environmental/social goals in the country. These include:

  • selling products that offset or reduce imports; 
  • selling sustainable/renewable energy or energy efficiency products, services, or equipment; 
  • farms or food production businesses that use organic or regenerative agriculture techniques; 
  • businesses that reduce energy use or use renewable energy, reduce water use, reduce waste (such as recycling businesses or those that source re-used or local materials), or protect or conserve natural landscapes, address social issues (support vulnerable populations like youth, women, the disabled, reduce inequality/poverty etc. ), or increase resilience to climate change (storm-resistant buildings and infrastructure, increased ability recover from storms/flooding, etc.).

The Business Plan Competition provided green startups the opportunity to demonstrate their growth through the Incubator Programme and to compete for grant awards. Beyond the funding, the competition is an opportunity for startups to showcase their business idea and gain experience in compiling their green business plans and pitch decks. Fifteen entrepreneurs participated in the competition and the top nine were selected by the judges.

The OECS also stated that the competition was judged by an esteemed panel of business and sustainable development experts from across the Caribbean region. Each entrepreneur was evaluated on five criteria: Business Pitch (Video Pitch & Pitch Deck), Social Lean Canvas Business Plan, Financial Model, Theory of Change, and Greenpreneur Learning.

To be eligible to participate in the competition, each entrepreneur was required to be a participant of the Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs Incubator cohort for 2021. Additionally, applicants must have submitted 80% of the required training assignments, and participated in the required mentorship sessions in addition to completing the visibility requirements of the programme. 

A virtual awards ceremony was held on June 15th 2022 to recognise the participants and grant winners of the programme. Special recognition was given to the winner of the best business plan and best video pitch categories. These distinctions were copped by Ms.  Anja Fernand, the founder, and vice president of Food Harmony Incorporated a Saint Lucian based startup. 

The Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs programme was launched in 2021 and is being implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute in collaboration with the OECS Commission with funding from the Qatar Fund for Development. 

Applications will soon be opened for startups to apply to participate in the second cohort.

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