(CMR) Sixteen entrepreneurs have been selected to participate in a two-year residential business incubator program hosted by the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development (CICDB).
The start-up and small business owners attended an orientation session and site tour at the incubator launch held at the CICBD last week.
The entrepreneurs selected are involved in a range of business sectors, including legal technology, software development and mobile applications, media and communications, film-making, environmental innovations, creative industries, agriculture, and business support services.
As part of the residential incubator program, the entrepreneurs will be provided with workspace free of charge for the period of the program. In addition to space, 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.
Minister of Commerce Joey Hew, who was in attendance at the event, congratulated the entrepreneurs while highlighting that the Government has been establishing relationships with relevant agencies in the United Kingdom and the United States to find overseas markets for local businesses.
“Our goal is not just local, our goal is to support entrepreneurs to dream bigger than Cayman. To take their ideas and products internationally. We believe that we can achieve this here. The incubator is a step in the right direction,” Hew said
He continued, “It can be a center of excellence, a center of development, an accelerator for our micro and small businesses owners and entrepreneurs who have great ideas as well as products and services.”
Director at CICBD Althea West-Myers noted that the 24-month program would involve a business development curriculum, business model testing, networking events, preparation to access funding, and mentors to assist in building entrepreneurial competencies.
“In the first months, each entrepreneur will be assigned a business advisor from the Centre. As they progress, they will be matched with a mentor as well as an advisory board,” she explained.
It is anticipated that “at the completion of the program, the business owners would have established strong connections through networking, accessed appropriate funding, become more familiar with the regulatory, economic and development environment in which they operate, have a serious entrepreneurial mindset and most importantly, be owners of a globally competitive enterprise,” West-Myers emphasized.
Some of the programs offered to residents of the incubator are also available to other micro and small business owners in a less structured way. Interested persons can contact the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development at [email protected] for more information.