Accelerating entrepreneurship in the Caribbean
In response to high unemployment and growth rates of rural poverty often due to suffering rural economies and increased migration in the Eastern Caribbean, the USAID-funded Eastern Caribbean Youth Microenterprise Program (ECYMP) through the FIELD-Support LWA, designed to accelerate the creation of sustainable livelihoods and self-employment opportunities for vulnerable youth. The program piloted an innovative “Accelerator” model with grant funding to support youth businesses leveraging specific market opportunities in partnership with other private sector actors. The Accelerator Grant Fund awarded four in-kind grants totaling approximately $131,000 in the region.
This beneficiary success story highlights the experience of Ismela Henry, a dynamic youth entrepreneur from St. Lucia, who was awarded a start-up grant to establish her business and become one of the few young self-employed women in her community.