Incubator to offer workspace for small businesses

The Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development is inviting owners of micro and small businesses to apply to its residential business incubator programme.

The business incubator, scheduled to open officially on 24 March, will host 20 business owners, who currently do not have a workspace, free of charge for up to two years.

The business incubator will be located at the business development centre in Bay Town Plaza on West Bay Road in George Town.

In addition to the space, successful participants will have access to laptops and other office equipment, in-house business advisors, strategic development support and a special advisory panel consisting of legal, accounting and other business professionals.

Althea West-Myers, director of CICBD, said in a press release the programme is an extension of the centre’s existing business-mentoring service.

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“It is targeted towards entrepreneurs with high growth potential. We are aiming to harness the creativity of local entrepreneurs to create innovative, sustainable businesses with the potential to employ significant numbers of people and increase global competitiveness,” she said.

Minister of Commerce Joey Hew said the programme will identify, nurture and train Caymanian entrepreneurs to make the micro- and small-business sector more globally competitive.

“Under this programme, entrepreneurs will be provided with access to equity capital, opportunity to expand markets and given an opportunity to network with like-minded entrepreneurs through mentorship and training sessions,” he said.

Incubator participants will be selected through a competitive application process. Applicants should fall within one of the following sectors:

  • Animation
  • Software development and mobile applications
  • Media and communication
  • Industrial design
  • Creative industries
  • Agro-processing
  • Manufacturing
  • Support services such as information technology, marketing and human services, and
  • Environmental innovations

The business incubator programme is open to start-up and existing micro and small businesses that demonstrate an interest in innovation, have a growing market base and provide evidence that they have been able to attract users and made sales of their product or service.

In addition to the identified sectors, businesses must:

  • Be a registered enterprise that is at least 60% Caymanian-owned;
  • Have a viable product that has been/is ready to be market tested;
  • Be actively engaged in the entrepreneurial community for at least six months; and
  • Be willing to allow for monitoring and evaluation of enterprise for impact assessment up to 24 months after the close of the programme.

The deadline to apply to participate is Friday, 5 March.

Interested business owners can visit the Ministry of Commerce, Planning and Infrastructure website at www.cpiministry.gov.ky for information and application forms. They can also go directly to the Cayman Islands Centre for Business Development or email [email protected] for further information.

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