(CMR) Twenty micro and small business owners who do not have a workspace from which to operate will be given an environment to excel and grow for up to two years in the government's business incubator program which starts next month.
The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development (CICBD), in the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure, is inviting micro and small business owners to apply to its residential business incubator program which will start on March 24.
Businesses have until March 5 to apply to be a part of the residential business incubator program which will be free of charge to participants for a period of up to two years.
The business incubator will be located at the CICBD, Baytown Plaza, West Bay Road in George Town.
In addition to space, successful participants will have access to laptops and other office equipment, in-house business advisors, strategic development support, and a special advisory panel consisting of legal, accounting,, and other business professionals.
Director of CICBD, Althea West-Myers, said the incubator program is an extension of the Centre's existing business mentoring program.
“It is targeted towards entrepreneurs with high growth potential. We are aiming to harness the creativity of local entrepreneurs to create innovative, sustainable businesses with the potential to employ significant numbers of people and increase global competitiveness,” she noted.
Minister of Commerce, Joey Hew said the program would identify, nurture and train Caymanian entrepreneurs to make the micro and small business sector more globally competitive.
“This aligns well with the Unity Government’s priorities to support small and micro businesses to succeed and also to diversify the economy and support growth in new market sectors. Under this program, entrepreneurs will be provided with access to equity capital, the opportunity to expand markets, and given an opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs through mentorship and training sessions,” Minister Hew stated.
Participants in the program will be selected through a competitive application process. Favorable applicants should fall within one of the following sectors: Animation, Software Development and Mobile Applications, Media and Communication, Industrial Design, Creative Industries, Agro-Processing, Manufacturing, Support Services such as information technology, marketing, and human services, and Environmental Innovations.
In addition to the identified sectors, businesses must:
- Be a registered enterprise that is at least 60% Caymanian-owned;
- Have a viable product that has been/is ready to be market-tested;
- Be actively engaged in the entrepreneurial community for at least 6 months; and
- Be willing to allow for monitoring and evaluation of enterprise for impact assessment up to 24 months after the close of the program.
The business incubator program is open to start-up and existing micro and small businesses that demonstrate an interest in innovation, have a growing market base, and provide evidence that they have been able to attract users and made sales of their product or service.
Interested business owners can visit the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure website at www.cpiministry.gov.ky for information and application forms. They can also go directly to the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development or email [email protected] for further information.