DEXIA hosts ‘End of Programme’ ceremony for Cohort 3 of GGGI’s Incubator Program

The Dominica Export Import Agency (DEXIA) on Tuesday, December 5th, 2023, held its end of programme ceremony for cohort three of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Eastern Caribbean Greenpreneurs Incubator Program through which three Dominican entrepreneurs were among 12 counterparts, who over 12 weeks, were immersed in virtual training, mentorship, coaching and networking sessions–culminating with a business plan competition where participants could access seed fund grants of US$10,000.00.

DEXIA is the local BSO for the programme and has worked closely with all cohorts implementing the Greenpreneurs incubator and accelerator programmes.

At Tuesday’s ceremony, DEXIA General Manager, Paula Platsko highlighted the Government’s efforts to support small business through the Agency.

“The Government of Dominica has placed significant importance on the contributions of SMEs to the economy.  Over the past months, there have been opportunities for Greenpreneurs and agro-processors to improve on their product offerings through various mediums including trade shows- for example, Ti Vilaj Kwéyòl and the Health and Wellness Exposition.”

She added that over the years “DEXIA has worked with over 100 SMEs and we are proud of their achievements and we have provided both financial and technical support to them.”

The three local participants in the GGGI Incubator Program were Kervin Vidal of K Vidal Enterprises an agro processing business manufacturing natural, organic products, Shelly-Ann Meade of Little Zion, an agro-tourism business with a unique waterfall feature and Judy Pierre of Nature’s Finest products manufacturers of all natural hair and skin products.

In addition to facilitating the alignment of participants with a coach and mentor, DEXIA also assisted each entrepreneur with creating a business pitch which was used in the business plan competition. Kervin Vidal and Shelly-Ann Meade were successful in their business pitches and each qualified for the US$10,000.00 grant.

Vidal described the programme as “comprehensive, insightful, inspiring and motivating.” He further expounded on his experience saying that it allowed him to “dissect his business and build it from the ground up,” a first-hand account of the rigorous efforts needed to not just complete the programme but to ensure a sound understanding of every aspect of his business.

K Vidal Enterprises is an earth-centered company manufacturing green seasoning, hot pepper sauces and coconut cream using locally sourced materials and biodegradable or reusable packaging. With the funds from his grant, he plans to build a production space and purchase tools and equipment. He expects this to have a domino effect of increases in the volume of raw materials purchased from local farmers, an increase in farmer revenue, and also an increase in locally-made healthy agro-processed food options for Dominicans.

Progam Officer for the Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative, Laurah John, in highlighting the challenges faced by the OECS to include high unemployment rates (especially among the youth), limited economic diversification and innovation, gender and social inequalities, and barriers to accessing finance she proffered GGGI’s mitigating efforts “to prioritise the business and entrepreneurs that are actively addressing social and environmental issues with the products and services they offer while also building sustainable livelihoods.”

For John, the initiatives under the programmes benefit entrepreneurs as well as the economies in which they operate. “[It will] help them reach their full potential while creating green jobs and creating social and economic inclusion for women, youth, and persons with disabilities.” They also enable GGGI to achieve its overall goal of a low carbon resilient world of strong, inclusive, and sustainable green businesses,”  a much-needed adaptation to the active and recent shift towards a three-tiered business model that prioritises people, planet, and profit.

 Ms. John also extended thanks to DEXIA, highlighting the critical role the Agency plays in the success of the programmes in Dominica. “It is because of their participation that they have ensured we have been able to reach as many Greenpreneurs as we have, and that they have been able to support requested by the Greenpreneurs to maximise participation.”

Representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, International Business, Trade and Energy, Hon. Vince Henderson, was Hon. Julian Defoe (Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture) who in his acting capacity expressed thanks to GGGI for supporting MSMEs in Dominica.  He also handed out contributions from local businesses Jungle Bay Resort and J. Astaphans and Company Ltd.

DEXIA is proud to have hosted cohort 3 of the EC GGGI Greenpreneurs Program with grant winners in each round: Nadja Thomas owner of Frying Pan Productions-makers of Draw Teas of Cohort 1, Lana Athanaze of Éclat Nova Luxuries, makers of botanical skin home care products of Cohort 2, and, of course, Vidal and Meade of Cohort 3.  To date their collective grants of US$40,000.00 amount to 13% of the total grants disbursed- $300,000.00.

The Agency has offered support in the hosting of training sessions such as the “Grow Your Business” series which saw virtual sessions on topics such as digital marketing and financial management.  The sustainable model of the GGGI programme has seen benefits to participants beyond their three-month immersion. Cohort two graduate Lana Athanaze represented Dominica in a trade exchange in Doha Qatar in October 2023.

The EC Greenpreneurs Initiative Social supports young persons in developing social enterprise solutions that address sustainability and climate change. The Incubator Program specifically targets innovative, early-stage MSMEs with demonstrated growth potential that are still in pursuit of a scalable and replicable business model.

It forms part of the overall GGGI programme and is funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and supported by partners such as the OECS, national governments, BSOs, and financial institutions. The local focal points were DEXIA General Manager Paula Platsko and Head of DEXIA’s Export Promotion and Development Department, Lloyd Pascal.

For more information about the EC Greenpreneurs programme visit  or

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