2014 Annual Caribbean Sustainable Livelihoods Through Entrepreneurship Conference

IMG_1052The Caribbean Center of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL) and regional partner the GARD Center, recently concluded the 2014 Annual Caribbean Sustainable Livelihoods Through Entrepreneurship Conference in Antigua and Barbuda, from 27 – 29 October.  The theme for this 7th annual conference was “Getting Regionalism Right – A Strategy for Sustainable Development.”

IMG_1711The Opening Ceremony and the Conference were held at the GARD Center, Mercers Creek.  The keynote speaker was the Hon. Samantha Marshall, Minister of Social Transformation & Human Resource Development.  After the Ceremony, the Minister officially launched Caribbean Entrepreneurship Week (CEW) and declared the Trade Show open.

IMG_1111Over 40 persons from eight countries registered for this intensive three day conference which covered subject matter to include presentation on ‘Creating the Region’s Entrepreneurial People; Strengthening the Eco-System’ by Mr. Ashley John.

A Think Tank / Knowledge Sharing Session was held whereby four groups were formed and participants were divided amongst the area of their interest.  Topics discussed were: 1) Business Mentoring and Coaching for Entrepreneurs 2) Agriculture, Climate Change and Green Techniques 3) Volunteerism, Internships, Apprenticeship and Shadowing Programmes and 4) Entrepreneurship.  Each group was chaired by an expert in the respect fields.

The gathering was addressed by a local entrepreneur, Mr. Yves Ephraim, CEO, Pegasus Technologies Inc. who spoke about ethics in business.

Discussions included,  ‘Accelerating Regionalism Through Entrepreneurship.  What More Needs to Be done?  The Male panel was moderated by Mr. Ashley John, while the Female panel was moderated by Ms. Akosua Edwards.

A regional panel on ‘The Current Status of Efforts to Develop Regional Entrepreneurs. Helping People to Create Livelihoods for themselves.’ Panelist included: Robertine Chaderton, Caribbean Consulting Group, St. Kitts & Nevis; Stephane Burke, CIBC/First Caribbean International Bank; Keisha Sandy, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) and Pamella Thomas, Team Fresh / Caribbean Farmers Network (CaFAN). This panel was chaired by Marcia Brandon, CoESL.

CANARI Launched its How to Guides, while the CoESL launched its 2013 Conference Publication & 2013 Research Publication.  In addition, a personalized  Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Presentation was made by Mr. Jonathan Ortman, President, via video and the Launch of GEW Caribbean was announced by a drum roll and celebratory dance.  All participants were encouraged to message at least five (5) persons to announce this launch.

Field Research sites were organised for day 3, with participants divided into three groups.  Much discussion took place during the presentation of the Group Research Presentations.

IMG_1019The conclusion overview of the three (3) day conference was given by Roberta Williams, GARD Center.

IMG_1727IMG_1714An Award ceremony for the outstanding Trade Show exhibits and those with outstanding Entrepreneurial skills were rewarded on Wednesday afternoon.  Awards were given for the Best Product; Most Informative Exhibit; Most Innovative; Most Entrepreneurial – Male and Female; as well as for Environmental Awareness; Best Quality; Best Agripreneur – Male and Female; Most Committed and Best Potential.

The CoESL and the GARD Center sincerely wish to thank all of the sponsors, volunteers and participants of this event, who truly made it a resounding success.