Participants from several countries completed the first Caribbean Circular Economy Acceleration Program online via Zoom, where they explored various business development topics to aid them in the growth and development of their circular economy businesses. The program, which had a cohort consisting of ten companies from Barbados, the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Haiti, St. Lucia and Suriname as participants, began on August 11th, 2022 and ended on December 8th, 2022.

Ten participants from Barbados, St. Lucia, the United States of America, Haiti, the United Kingdom and Suriname attended the first Caribbean Circular Economy Acceleration Program, which was organized by SAGANA, the Barbados BLOOM Cleantech Cluster, Circulate Capital, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).This virtual program took place from August 11th, 2022 to December 8th, 2022 via Zoom.

The goal of the accelerator was to provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare their company for possible pre-seed and pre-series A investments, as well as to assist entrepreneurs in addressing their businesses’ pain points and consolidating and scaling their businesses to the next level. Throughout the 18-week program, SAGANA and BLOOM coaches, Mr. Cesar Vergara, Mr. Jari Aaltonen, and Ms. Akilah Philips, led participants through modules such as business strategy, product development and research and development, marketing and sales, people practices, financial management, fundraising and measuring business impact. The companies and entrepreneurs who benefited from this the program were Dr. Legena Henry (Rum & Sargassum), Mr. Jahmily Pompilus

(HillPlast), Mr. Bill Lloyd (Hydrogen Horizons Barbados), Ms. Malikca Cummings (Caribbean E- waste Management Inc.), Mr. Joshua Forte (Red Diamond Compost), Ms. Deandra Crawford (The Green Collective), Ms. Simera Crawford (The Caribbean Environmental Management Bureau), Mr. Kevin Adair (El Feugo de Sol, Ecological Solutions), Mr. Nathan Lee (Greening the Caribbean) and Ms. Linde Breeveld (GoBanana). Circulate Capital and SAGANA awarded certificates of completion to each of these companies that completed the 18-week program.

This program was also designed to implement a capacity-building initiative with entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the Caribbean region to support business solutions to plastics and waste management issues, bridge the financing and capacity-building gaps entrepreneurs in the blue and green economies face, and help reduce the amount of waste that is mismanaged and incorrectly dumped in environmentally harmful areas through knowledge sharing and awareness building.

Many participants stated at the end of the program that it was an enlightening experience that provided them with a wealth of practical knowledge, new found motivation and inspiration to continue pursuing their business endeavors within the circular economy and a new network of contacts within their sector with whom they can not only turn to for support, but also continue to share knowledge, experiences and ideas. As a result, the cohort decided that in 2023 they would host a monthly hang out session to reconnect with each other.