Mr Douglas will be joining other business experts who will make the judging panel at the final, namely: Andy White (Barbados), Keisha Phillips (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Careen Prevost (Dominica), and Jennifer Robinson (Grenada).
The Caribbean Innovation Challenge has been developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Sub-regional Office for Barbados and the OECS, in partnership with the Young American Trust (YABT). The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis has been involved with the CIC since its initial phase.
“The first phase of this programme would have transpired last year with Development Bank in partnership with the Organisation of American States (OAS), as well as several partner-groups including the Ministry of Youth both in St. Kitts and Nevis, CFBC and other stakeholders,” said Mr Douglas.
According to Mr Douglas, Development Bank would have played the role as co-coordinator at the initial stage and would have also provided monetary contribution to underwrite some of the costs of putting on the function.
“We were responsible for assisting in the workshop last year that would have eventually trained over 30 young aspiring entrepreneurs from basic business planning start-up and business plan writing,” commented Douglas.
Participants from that training would have also gone on to submit their final projects to the initial phase of the Caribbean Innovation Challenge, which would have seen 493 applicants at its first competition phase. While a number of groups from St. Kitts and Nevis took part, only one group, Saint Kitts Business Connections made it to the finals.
“The group is comprised of eight students from the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College, all varying backgrounds, different disciplines who used the innovation challenge to pool their resources with the view of coming up with a product business initiative that would compete at this level, and they were successful in advancing to the finals stage,” observed Mr Douglas.
The Saint Kitts Business Connections will be led by its Chief Executive Officer, Kai’Jana Henry and Chief Operating Officer, Dennis Mc Call Jr., Other members of the team are Adielle Chiverton, Sanal Huggins, Andre Hanley, Nia Francis, Jenee Williams, and Jaleel Grant.
According to Mr Douglas, there will be six winners, of whom each will be awarded US$5,000 as their prize payout to be utilised towards the continuation of their business enterprise, along with the necessary mentoring technical support.
“There will be six winners under three different categories, so there will be two awardees under each of the three categories,” noted Mr Douglas.