Mapping and Assessment Progress Report on Programmes on Youth Entrepreneurship across CARICOM

Washington D.C., April 15, 2014 - The Young Americas Business Trust (YABT), the United Nations Development Program Subregional Office for Barbados (UNDP) are pleased to announce that the Progress Report and Virtual Map are now available for the assessment conducted on Programmes on Youth Entrepreneurship across CARICOM: mapping services available and the needs of young entrepreneurs

This assessment was carried out in an effort to enhance the Caribbean Innovation Challenge (CIC) support system for young entrepreneurs and, identify current entrepreneurial support programmes in the region and develop an improved strategy and build a comprehensive action plan that will benefit both service providers and young entrepreneurs through Youth-IN Entrepreneurship. It was conducted among institutions in the CARICOM Member States and Associates.

On-site consultations took place in four pilot countries: Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The meetings were conducted by YABT, UNDP Barbados, and the OECS with the support of the Country Offices of the Organization of American States. A regional meeting was held in Saint Lucia with participants from 15 CARICOM Members States associated with Ministries of Youth, education Institutions, business support organizations, international NGOs and other Ministries representatives.

The objective of the consultations was to assess and evaluate the data gathered through the online surveys, through recommendations and suggestions from the local stakeholders In summary, the mapping looked at the following:

1. Organizations that work in youth entrepreneurship locally, nationally and regionally;

2. Current Youth entrepreneurship services, programmes and learning programmes offered in the Caribbean;

3. The priority focus of the youth business and entrepreneurship programmes by country;

4. The needs expressed by Caribbean young entrepreneurs to support an optimum enabling environment for the development of new businesses.

This report will serve as a base for the design of Entrepreneurship support programmes and policies across the Caribbean utilizing an online map to list institutions working with young entrepreneurs by country and sector. The Assessment directly supports current efforts in creating a sustainable eco-system for youth entrepreneurship in the region, where information on programmes and services is easily accessible and the different partners can collaborate to achieve the common goal of economic and social development, especially for youth.

In the medium-term, this exercise looks to help national governments in closing the gaps identified by the study, creating an improved ecosystem of support for young entrepreneurs. The aim in the long-term is to support the economic and social development in the CARICOM Member and Associate States. The objective is being met through identifying current entrepreneurial programmes available for young people in the region, measure the services and resources provided and match them with existing needs of young entrepreneurs who are in start-up phases of business creation.

To access the virtual map and Report, please visit YOUTH-IN CIC website.

For more information regarding this ongoing research, please contact Valerie Lorena, YABT at vlorena@oas.org or Janine Chase, UNDP Barbados and the OECS at janine.chase@undp.org.