BELTRAIDE developing incubators to support new businesses Print E-mail
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Written by By Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 03 March 2016 00:00

Many great business ideas fail shortly after take off because they did not get the chance to have enough air under the wings. Business experts around the world will tell you that the most vulnerable time for a business is the infancy stage - the period of time in which the business is susceptible to numerous terminal conditions. Some businesses crash in the infancy stage because of unexpected and unbudgeted expenses. Others fail because they could not stay above water long enough for the business to start seeing a profit. There are several factors that can cause a business to fail in the early stages and the Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) is hoping to provide protection for young entrepreneurs by introducing a business incubator.

From Monday, February 29, to Thursday, March 3, BELTRAIDE is hosting a workshop in collaboration with InfoDev, a World Bank Group, “to chart a way to foster an innovative entrepreneurship ecosystem in Belize”. During the workshop, managers, entrepreneurs, students, government officials, donors and investors will take part in Business Incubation Management (BIM) Training. A business incubator is a company that helps new and startup companies to develop by providing services such as management training, market information, office space, etc.

“The country needs a greater support environment for entrepreneurship and so we are doing this through the Incubation Program,” said Melanie Gideon, Director of Enterprise and Innovation at BELTRAIDE. “The purpose of the workshop over the next few days is to work with stakeholders in designing an appropriate incubation program for Belize.”

The program is part of a regional initiative launched by Accelerate Caribbean called the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Development project. It is part of a seven year $20 Million Entrepreneurship Program of Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) and its objective is to strengthen entrepreneurship and boost job creation across CARICOM.

Natalia Pipia, team leader for Accelerate Caribbean, was very optimistic after the first two days of the workshop. She said, “After talking with the audience here, we will figure out where the gaps are in Belize and what actually is the country doing very well at. Then it will hopefully lead to the creation of different programs that support entrepreneurs in the future.”