Eastern Caribbean Business Resilience Challenge launches in Dominica  

Hurricane Maria caused major destruction to business in Dominica

On January 17th, 2023, the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce (DAIC), the Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT), the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD), and USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (USAID BHA) conducted a webinar to share with entrepreneurs and organizational leaders in Dominica how to access the CCIR Blended Finance Mechanism for funding and technical assistance to increase the disaster resilience of their communities.

CCIR stands for Caribbean Corporate Investment for Resilience and is a USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance-financed initiative to increase disaster resilience in the Caribbean region. The CCIR Blended Finance Mechanism seeks to utilize blended finance to increase access to capital for SMEs and NGOs to scale, grow, become more resilient, and increase the disaster resilience of their communities.

Through the CCIR Eastern Caribbean Business Resilience Challenge, applicants can access up to $100,000 US in flexible financing, as well as assistance in creating investable business proposals, and other practical workshops and seminars. The Challenge is currently accepting applications on a rolling basis through June 2023. More information can be found via the USAID website: https://www.usaid.gov/eastern-caribbean-business-resilience-challenge.

The goal of this January webinar was to raise awareness of the importance of disaster resilience, provide examples of investments in disaster resilience, explain the application process for the Eastern Caribbean Business Resilience Challenge, and encourage potential applicants to apply to the Challenge.

In the webinar, Ms. Nacasi Green from USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance recognized Dominica’s journey to become the world’s first climate-resilient nation by 2030, and USAID BHA’s wish to support Dominica on this journey. She also noted that USAID BHA recognizes the critical importance of understanding and mitigating disaster risks, and investing in micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to build the disaster resilience of their communities.

Mr. Brenton Hilaire, President of DAIC, presented as a part of the webinar on the importance of making investments in resilience. “Resilience in itself is a competitive advantage to your businesses. To those of us who might be looking to expand in the future, investors are now paying attention to what they call ‘hidden risks.’ What are the risks that your business faces that you’re not telling us about?” he asked, citing flooding or land slippage as examples of “hidden risks.” Mr. Hilaire provided examples of resilience investments applicants could consider, such as investing in cloud storage, digital upgrading, storehouses, floodwalls and retaining walls, drainage systems, training and business continuity planning.

Mr. Phillip Rolle, Coordinator for DYBT, presented opening remarks and closed the webinar along with Ms. Jodie Dangleben from DAIC and Mr. Donald Bercasio, the Entrepreneurial and Business Development Manager for NDFD, who provided information on NDFD’s past and present initiatives to support business resilience in Dominica.

The webinar took place via Zoom, with participation from entrepreneurs and organizational leaders, DAIC, DYBT, and NDFD, and USAID, as well as with USAID’s implementing partners for the CCIR Blended Finance Mechanism – CollaborateUp, Total Impact Capital, and the Pan American Development Foundation.

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1 Comment

  1. Martha
    January 31, 2023

    A huge amount of impressive words meaning absolutely nothing to the people concerned. Only Rhetorik and propaganda for a useless government which desperately tries to be significant. Don’t Dominicans see what game the CM is playing?

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