SINT MAARTEN (GREAT BAY) – Forty participants from leading impact organizations from Anguilla and St. Maarten came together for Innovating Models for Progressive Advancement of Caribbean Territories (IMPACT) 2019. Coordinated by Produce Wealth Revolution Agency (The PWR Agency), IMPACTC 2019 was St. Maarten’s first European Social Economy Regions Conference and focused on social impact and innovation.
IMPACT 2019 opened with welcoming words from Giselle York of the National Recovery Program Bureau. Ms. York who is also in charge of Communications and Community Programs, shared the importance of social impact organizations in the recovery process and how they can be a part of the recovery process. Mrs. Aarti Jusia, deputy director of the Bureau for Intellectual Property of St. Maarten (BIP SXM) provided information on how they can assist in registering intellectual property. Mr. Kenneth Porter of SAGIS law firm in Anguilla and founding partner of Intellectual Property Caribbean Association (IPCA) shared on the intellectual property tools, such as traditional knowledge and geographic indication, that are underutilized in the region and how they can be used to stimulate social innovation and stimulate economic progression.
The key facilitator, Karel van der Poorten, a social economy specialist from the European Commission, shared case studies from all over the world and including in the region of social enterprises that were solving social problems with innovative business models. Some of the examples in the region were a sustainable hotel from which all the profits are invested in education based in Nicaragua, an employment agency for persons with learning disabilities in Curacao, and a permanent autonomous fund in Aruba focused on financially supporting social causes in a creative way. During the discussion it was evident that more collaboration and a platform, such as NPOwer, is needed to support each other and grow the local and regional social economy.
Ife Badejo, project coordinator and founder of The PWR Agency, covered business modelling and taught on how to best use the business model canvas as an impact organization. Lastly, the Prime Minister of St. Maarten, Honorable Leona Marlin-Romeo shared passionately on the importance of e-government and digitization to improve the quality of life for the citizens of St. Maarten and to embrace opportunities for social innovation.
Due to the overwhelmingly positive response, The PWR Agency has decided to give the opportunity for social entrepreneurs and impact organizations who were unable to join the conference to be a part of the year-long program that was initially slated only for participants. This program will provide exclusive content, cutting-edge tools, opportunities for innovating financing, and best practices from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020. Registration is required and the fee is $100 per person. To be able to join this cohort, registration must be completed and paid for no later than July 31, 2019.
The PWR Agency would like to thank all those who participated and its collaborating partners: 4C Foundation, SXM Development Fund, Bureau for Intellectual Property of St. Maarten, and Anguilla Youth Business Foundation.