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Approximately 90 participants from Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Saint Lucia and Jamaica will be vying to come out on top in the Climate Launchpad Caribbean’s Green Business Ideas Competition 2022, which was officially launched on Wednesday.

The competition, which is being hosted by the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (COESL), will see selected participants pitching their green commercial ideas to get a chance to face off at the global grand finals in the Netherlands, slated for November this year.

They will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to move their ideas from the budding stage to commercialisation. Participants will be engaged in a business bootcamp, coaching sessions and national finals competition in their respective countries. 

Minister of Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology (MIST), Davidson Ishmael, who attended the virtual launch, said “green ideas” contributed to the creation of new and innovative solutions, production and technologies “with the aim of reducing environmental risks, like pollution and the negative consequences of resource exploitation”.

“It becomes crystallised that green ideas are inextricably aligned to innovation and, by extension, strategically linked to my Ministry in terms of the pivotal and synergistic role it plays relative to the development of a green economy. This, colleagues, is one of the central pillars of government’s medium-term economic strategy.

“Indeed, this has become even more relevant, given the conflict in the Ukraine and the doubling of oil prices over the last 12 months.  Government has made the policy decision that renewable energy from natural resources, such as the sun, wind, and bioenergy, would be the new feedstock on which electricity would be produced,” he stated.

The Industry Minister also shared that an International Food Science Centre, geared at facilitating the production of food items to international standards within a green facility, was set to come on stream in a few months.

He said MIST was assisting enterprises and workforces to harness sustainability as a competitive advantage as they sought to invest in innovation and to seize new growth opportunities within the green economy.

Mr. Ishmael emphasised that change was necessary, across all industries, to employ ecological and socially sensitive practices to reduce negative impacts on the environment, while at the same time, “being able to fully realise the associated economic benefits”.

He said now was the time for entrepreneurs to emerge in Barbados and the Caribbean who are genuinely passionate about solutions that address real social and environmental challenges and be at the forefront of the clean energy revolution.

“I want to wish all participants the greatest success. Through your green ideas you are contributing to the ecosystem that will ensure that we have a brighter, greener and more sustainable tomorrow. I eagerly await the announcement of the winners at the end of the competition and we commit to supporting them and all green business practitioners as they collectively work to become a force for good,” stated the Minister.

The Green Business Ideas Competition 2022 is supported by strategic partners such as the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center; Trinidad and Tobago Business Concepts and Solutions Company Ltd; (Venture Cowboys) Suriname; Alliance for Green Innovation and Technology, Saint Lucia; Climate-KIC; the Inter-American Development Bank; Development Bank of Jamaica; the Scientific Research Council and the Caribbean Development Bank.

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