Toolkit-E6D68A0EC88BB4EAC8169DD538C65DF5
July/August 2015
Dominica Excels Amongst Caribbean 
and Central America Countries 
  
Dominica ranked #8 in "Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Strategy" and #6 in "Cost Effectiveness" in the Caribbean and Central American Countries of the Future 2015/16 rankings. 

This achievement is a result of Compete Caribbean's collaboration with Invest Dominica on a project designed to strengthen investment 
promotion in The Nature Isle. Read More
Productivity, Technology & Innovation in the Caribbean

This month Compete Caribbean completed the selection of papers submitted under a call for proposals to analyze data on productivity and innovation at the firm level in the Caribbean. 

Twenty four excellent proposals were received, from researchers across the globe. Topics ranged widely, and included interesting perspectives and methodologies to analyze the contribution of variables such as gender, FDI, access to finance, sustainable practices and others on productivity at the firm level.

Eight proposals were selected out of 24 to be developed into full-fledged papers and will form part of an edited volume on private sector development in the Caribbean. Successful applicants will receive USD5,000 plus travel and accommodation to attend two workshops in Barbados. Read More
Plympton Farms Pursuing Profitable
Export Agriculture in Guyana
 
Guyana is perceived as the potential breadbasket of the Caribbean; to realise this vision, Plympton Farms is focused on vegetable production as well as pursuing what is believed to be a nationally and regionally strategic goal of profitable export agriculture on Guyana's abundant white sand.
 
Plympton Farms won an Enterprise Innovation Challenge Fund award under Compete Caribbean's  Caribbean Ideas Marketplace (CIM) initiative which was aimed at increasing diaspora investment in the region.
 
Compete's technical assistance helped Plympton Farms improve their capacity to produce and export high margin vegetables not traditionally grown in Guyana by modernizing the farm and increasing farming productivity.
 
So far, Plympton has recorded remarkable progress including cultivation of 7.5 acres of arable land with tomatoes, Scotch Bonnet, Habanero and Bell Peppers for export to regional markets once the yields are at acceptable levels. Read More
Improving Access to Finance: 
The Collateral Challenge

Reforms to collateral systems is an important step to improving access to finance for a region dominated by small and medium firms who face high costs to securing loans for their businesses. 
Caribbean firms face onerous collateral requirements. Firms interviewed for the 2010 Enterprise Surveys reported facing, on average, a 186.7% collateral requirement as a percentage of a loan. This is slightly lower than their LAC counterparts average of 204.1% and a world average of 194.6%. In the 2014 firm level survey (see infograph), the Caribbean regional average improved to 139% with Guyana, the Bahamas, Grenada, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines leading the group with the highest percentage change from 2010 to 2014. 
Guyana, for example, dropped from a high collateral requirement of 202.2% to 67%! There is huge room for improvement on these levels but more importantly is the need for reform of the collateral system to reduce loan costs and to give SMEs the opportunity to use the collateral they have as security for loans.
Jamaica performed relatively well showing an improvement from 204.3% in 2010 to 175% in the 2014 firm level survey. Jamaica had considerable improvements on its books through regulatory reform as reflected by the doing business rank on access to finance but impact within the private sector has yet to be fully realized and reflected in firm level surveys.

The Caribbean Private Sector...
What We Have Found and What You Will Discover

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Compete Caribbean's compendium of knowledge products is a research tool for academics and policy makers alike and much akin to the quote above, we are on a quest to learn and discover more about our region's evolving private sector so that we can target our program and projects to strategically meet the most pressing needs impeding a thriving private sector led growth strategy. Click Here for a short tour of our virtual library which, we hope, will help to guide you on how to use the research tools we have available - tools which we have found very useful as input into our program's design.

Regional and National: A key foundation tool in our library are the private sector assessment reports (PSARs), the most recent set of fourteen countries was edited by the Economist Intelligence Unit to update the region's current macroeconomic context. Each report follows the same methodology (found here) to unearthing a profile of the private sector, its main challenges, it potentials and emerging economic sectors, and the policy implications derived thereof. Here in this section of the virtual library you will also find the Overview report, authored by the EIU, to be a very useful report in understanding the main bottlenecks to the private sector at the regional level. The call for private and public sector partnership is strong along with the push for regional integration to combat the dis-economies of scale plaguing the small developing states. Read More
REACH Launched in Trinidad & Tobago

Compete Caribbean's partner, The Regional Entrepreneurial Asset Commercialization Hub (REACH), was launched in Trinidad and Tobago in June. The REACH Project will provide capacity building, training and mentorships in technology commercialization, the creative industries and product branding. 

The project is being executed through The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus with funding provided by the Inter-American Development Bank. The participating countries in the REACH project, thus far, are Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Barbados, Belize and Suriname.

A Startup Weekend was held in Trinidad and Tobago where individuals were able to pitch ideas, choose teams from the participants and present their ideas to a panel of judges. The first place team was 'Mobile Donate' and the second place team was 'NourishTT'. 

The first and second place teams were automatically pre-selected for the REACH Caribbean Innovation Competition (CIC) which will be launched formally in Barbados on September 10, 2015 in conjunction with the Young Americas Business Trust. The REACH Survey is available online at www.reach-monitor.net for completion. Interested entrepreneurs are encouraged to complete the REACH Survey for updates on calls for applications, workshops and mentorship programmes.

Further details on the REACH online platform will be provided in the upcoming months. Read More
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS - The The Promotion of Regional Opportunities for Produce through Enterprises and Linkages (PROPEL) project is looking for consulting firms or individuals to investigate a potential e-marketing platform for produce in the Caribbean. Details Here

Click Above...

VIDEO OF THE MONTH
Caribbean's First ISO Tank Maintenance Facility
Caribbean's First ISO Tank Maintenance Facility

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