Applications are being accepted now for Caribbean Idea Marketplace matching grants. The deadline for applications is May 31, 2012. The Caribbean Idea Marketplace (CIM) is a business competition platform that encourages local Caribbean and diaspora entrepreneurs to forge partnerships around innovative projects that will generate employment and economic opportunities in the Caribbean region. CIM will provide up to $100,000 in matching grants to each winning project.
CIM was officially launched on March 1, 2012, at the Invest Jamaica forum in Montego Bay, Jamaica, which followed Secretary Clinton’s announcement of the initiative during a meeting with Caribbean leaders in Jamaica in 2011. The Department of State’s partners in this effort include the Inter-American Development Bank’s Compete Caribbean program, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Partners also include Digicel, Scotiabank, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).
CIM encourages collaboration between Caribbean entrepreneurs and Caribbean diaspora in the development of new and innovative business ideas that will foster economic growth in the region, promote business development in new areas, and create learning networks among diaspora communities.
CIM is implemented in the context of the International diaspora Engagement Alliance (IdEA), which Secretary Clinton launched at the Secretary’s Global Diaspora Forum last year. The IdEA is an innovative platform for public-private partnerships to engage diaspora communities, the private sector, and public institutions in a collaborative process. Its goal is to support the development of diaspora-centered partnerships that promote trade and investment, volunteerism, philanthropy, diplomacy, entrepreneurship, and innovation in countries of origin.
For more information about the Caribbean Idea Marketplace, eligibility criteria, and the application process, visit www.caribbeanidea.org.