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Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson

Branson Launches Caribbean Entrepreneurship Centre

R

ichard Branson and Virgin Unite-founded Branson Centre of EntrepreneurshipCaribbean (BCOEC) has launched a non-academic online skills training programme to increase its intake of potential entrepreneurs across the region. The new initiative, dubbed Branson Centre Caribbean Online, offers an open and on-demand training platform delivering ‘world-class business concepts’ for regional entrepreneurs. The centre utilises a combination of technologydriven tools and interactive virtual communication with entrepreneurs and mentors around the globe to carry out 12 weeks of training with the participants. Since the launch of the programme in February, the non-profit institution has supported roughly 500 local entrepreneurs in growing and scaling their

businesses for positive economic impact. Lead partner for the programme is Virgin Holidays. Currently, the centre trains 329 Jamaicans in various areas of entrepreneurship under the online programme and is now looking to expand its foothold into Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Lucia and British Virgin Islands. “Up until July 24, we’ll accept registration for the online training programme after which they will be eligible to apply for Cohort 9 of the Official Entrepreneurship Programme in September,” Partnership and Communications Manager Melissa von Frankenberg told the Jamaica Observer in a telephone interview last Wednesday. “The online programme is free, and following the training the participants’ entrepreneurial skills will be tested through the submission of the business

pitch decks and pitch videos. That’s where a fee of US$60 is charged for the review and individuals who receive scores higher than 70 per cent will be admitted into Cohort 9 of the Official Entrepreneurship Programme,” she added. Prior to the establishment of the online platform, start-up entrepreneurs seeking help with their business model would be required to attend training sessions at the institution’s Montego Bay headquarters once per week for 12 weeks. Von Frankenberg noted that while 80 per cent of the participants would make it to the training sessions, it somewhat limited the institution from capturing a larger group of local and international entrepreneurs. “The expansion process looks really good, some islands better than others but I’m not able to say as yet which ones. However, it looks as if we will be in the first island by the end of the year,” said von Frankenberg. ¤

BusinessFocus July / Aug

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St. Lucia Business Focus 82  

Our special feature in this issue is the 10th Anniversary of First Citizens Investment Services Ltd. which has grown into a regional powerho...

St. Lucia Business Focus 82  

Our special feature in this issue is the 10th Anniversary of First Citizens Investment Services Ltd. which has grown into a regional powerho...

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