St. Eustatius now connected to EU Business Web platform | THE DAILY HERALD

From left: workshop facilitator Leslie Abell, Ebbie Schmidt (Chamber of Commerce), Teresa Leslie (SEF) and Tim Quinton (PR Director, CaribConnect)


ST. EUSTATIUS–St. Eustatius is now connected to a European Union (EU) Caribbean web platform that could vastly improve the way local entrepreneurs run and communicate their business activities.

Called Incubator CaribConnect, this virtual interface has already been launched on 12 other islands and now links 545 members to a host of business information and individual advice or coaching.

This week, an EU-sponsored workshop was set up by St. Eustatius Foundation (SEF) and Chamber of Commerce for local business and community leaders to communicate the opportunities presented by the new portal.

“CaribConnect is not a whisper of a website wonder,” said Teresa Leslie, Director of SEF. “It is an active daily resource for people who want to see their business start and grow. It will link them to mentors in the field who can, for example, advise them how to put a business plan together, design a winning marketing strategy or find the money to make the enterprise happen.”

Registration with CaribConnect costs nothing and almost eighty mentors are online – most to give their consultancy services for free. Leslie says their knowledge and experience are valuable on all subjects.

Fifty members from St. Maarten recently registered for CaribConnect and the hope is that a total of 3,500 entrepreneurs will have signed up within the next few months. “We are confident that a critical mass can be created from the use of this free web resource,” explained Leslie Abell, workshop presenter on behalf of the COSME programme that is running this EU initiative.

“Users have access to countless business templates. For example, they will be able to tap into business plans that they can copy, paste and promote. They will even be able to assess the value of their business or track their tax dues. And if the latter is not exciting enough, we have templates that calculate future turnover and break-even horizons.”

Abell explained that each island is responsible for creating its own level of business input to CaribConnect. “Somebody or some institutional body on the ground has to be the mover and shaker in all of this. Silence is not an option since CaribConnect could become a power for economic growth. Statia with its lost history of trade could become a success story of e-trade. Innovation is but imagination in action.”

Source: The Daily Herald