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World Bank awards 11 Caribbean entrepreneurs more than US$400K in climate grants

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The Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC), a project of the World Bank and its global entrepreneurship program infoDev, has announced the 11 winners of its first regional proof of concept (PoC) competition. The successful applicants will receive grants of up to US$50,000 to develop, test, and commercialize innovative, locally relevant climate technology solutions.

Officially closed on April 20, the PoC has received more than 300 applications from 14 countries, including territories within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Entrepreneurs were asked to submit proposals for innovative products, services, or business models in sustainable agribusiness, water management and recycling, solar energy, energy efficiency, and resource use sectors.

“This overwhelming response is very encouraging for the future of the CCIC and its activities,” said Everton Hanson, chief executive officer of the Caribbean CIC. “The process was very competitive and even the unsuccessful applicants submitted interesting ideas that show great potential.”

The 11 winning proposals represent seven Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and Belize. Particularly noteworthy is also the high engagement achieved among women, with four winning concepts submitted by female applicants.

Country

Applicant

Project Proposal

Antigua and Barbuda Elliot Lincoln Biofuels from microalgae cultivation: CO2 sequestration and wastewater treatment
Antigua and Barbuda Mario Bento Desalination Systems for Small Rural Communities; Low Cost, Solar-Powered, Brackish Water Reverse Osmosis (RO)
Belize Santiago Juan Alternative Animal Feed using vertical farming techniques
Dominica Gail Defoe Creating Home Grown Organic Bio-Fertilisers
Jamaica Shirley Lindo Organic Soil Conditioner and Fuel Briquettes from Castor Oil Waste
Jamaica Brian Wright The Pedro Banks Renewable Energy Project
Jamaica Harlo Mayne H2-Flex Hydrogen Hybrid Project
Jamaica Kert Edward Fiber-Optic Solar Indoor Lighting (FOSIL)
St Kitts and Nevis Donny Bristol Recyclables Expansion and Commercialization Project (Focal Area Resource Use Efficiency/Reuse and Recycling)
St Lucia Patricia Joshua Development of Sustainable Agri-business Paper Products
Trinidad and Tobago Suzanne Thomas Mobile modularized PF bio-digester

The PoC grants are designed to help entrepreneurs prove the value of their business concept by providing the resources and the skills necessary to prototype, test, develop, and commercialize services and products. In addition to funding, the PoC winners will also get access to the suite of advisory services offered by the CCIC, as well as considerable exposure and networking opportunities through the center’s media events.

The CCIC will work with Caribbean countries to develop innovative solutions to local climate challenges. By supporting Caribbean entrepreneurs with a suite of services to commercialize new climate-friendly products, the CCIC will spur economic development, decrease reliance on imported fossil fuels and increase resilience to climate change.

The CCIC is part of infoDev’s Climate Technology Program (CTP), which is currently implementing a global network of innovation centers across seven other countries, including Kenya, Ghana, Vietnam and Ethiopia. The center is also part of the broader Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) funded by the government of Canada.

Credit: Caribbean News Now!

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