Participants at think tank forum

Dominica Youth Environment Organisation Inc. (DYEO), in collaboration with Pinelands Creative Workshop on Thursday coordinated a Think Tank Forum at the Garraway Hotel.

The forum titled “Building Blocks for Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Caribbean” was directed at females who either owned small businesses or were interested in doing so.

Chief Executive Officer of Pinelands Creative Workshop in Barbados and the Regional Coordinator of the workshop Rodney Grant described the initiative as a means of empowering women of Grenada, Dominica and Barbados to either find or create their own fortes in their field in order to promote economic development in more marketable and diverse ways.

Grant noted that the objective is to “look at the skills and knowledge gap, where they need to reach in terms of helping them to establish and strengthen the businesses which they already have, helping them to create that niche market. And if they don’t, the skills and knowledge that is required to take them to the point of actually moving the idea from a concept to an actual business.”

The approximately 75 women in attendance were briefed by local sector experts on five business fields: Information Technology and the Services Sector; Eco Tourism; Food Security (Agriculture); Cultural Industries; and Energy and the Environment, by speakers were Fidel Grant, Sobers Espirit, Delroy Williams, Josephine Dublin-Prince and Nigel Lawrence.

The forum was a full day event designed to collect business development ideas from the women who would be implementing them, and at the end of the project, which moves to Barbados next, a number of business ideas will be funded by grants to selected women.

“The next phase of the workshop is to get the resources and mentorship to actually strengthen and sustain the idea [including] grants to establish a mentorship program where persons from the various sectors who are here will remain with them over a five month period giving them the mentorship and guidance that is necessary to ensure that the ideas become reality,” Grant remarked.

The programme is being funded by UN Women.