Entrepreneurship is the focus of a workshop that is underway in Belize City. Betraide is working along with InfoDev, and the World Bank Group. Today’s workshop is to continue the work of developing and fostering an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize using business incubators. Love News spoke to Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, Enterprise and Innovations at Beltraide.
LEJIA MELANIE GIDEON
“Entrepreneurs who have a clear idea of what they want to do in terms of delivering a product or service will be able to have a place to be able to physically sit and be nurtured with relevant experts coming to them, with the ability to dialogue with other entrepreneurs because that is what an incubator does, it allows for other similar like minds be able to support each other. So what it means to Belize is basically being able to take that leap to where we can be serious game changers when it comes to competing with Central America , even the Caribbean when it comes to developing and dynamic small businesses and even the growth of those small businesses to the export market. A heavy percentage of what an incubator provides is what the small business development center provides; it’s the one on one advising and the workshops. So it’s the natural next step in our time line, we’ve mastered the art of small business development support services in the country there is always room for improvement but we are confident that because we’ve mastered that the next step is to marry it with the physical infrastructure which is an incubator.”
Natalia Pipia, Team leader for Accelerate Caribbean, spoke about the entrepreneurial ecosystem and what were the topics covered.
“So we’re talking about creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem in Belize and actually talking about the different pillars and mapping the ecosystem during the workshop today. So by the end of the workshop we’ll be through talking with the audience here we will figure out where the gaps are and where Belize is doing very well and then it will lead to hopefully the creation of different programs that support entrepreneurs in the future. Actually they are glad to see such an organization in Belize that are very passionate in creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem and you heard from Melanie their plan to establish an incubator, a step in the right direction. I think the incubator will serve basically as a platform to help young entrepreneurs to create companies.”
The incubator will be funded by InfoDev and Beltraide. Sophia Muradyan from InfoDev spoke to us about the why infoDev took interest in such a project.
Following today’s workshop, a three day Accelerate Caribbean Business Incubation Management Training will take place.