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Supporting the Development of Businesses in the Eastern Caribbean

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The private sector is playing a major role in delivering more robust economic outcomes and sustainable livelihoods in the OECS region. Hence, supporting the development of businesses in the Eastern Caribbean is one of the key priorities of the OECS Commission.

The private sector's highest level of organization in the OECS is a tourism and international business sector, both geared to meet external demand. They are supported by the application of Article 164 of the CARICOM treaty. However, a major number of businesses in the Eastern Caribbean are medium, small or micro enterprises (MSMEs) and family-owned companies. Small sized businesses face multiple challenges including a high level of informality surrounding their structure and operations. The sector has traditionally been disadvantaged with the lack of technological and financial resources.

The OECS, through its Competitive Business Unit, is working in collaboration with its Member States along with regional and international agencies to support existing and emerging businesses in the Eastern Caribbean.


The OECS, through the Competitive Business Unit, is mobilizing efforts to support existing enterprises and emerging businesses in the Eastern Caribbean region. Our priority objectives are:

  • to facilitate formal financing mechanisms as well as innovative financing solutions such as crowdfunding
  • to channel resources from traditional official development assistance and loans towards direct foreign investment
  • to facilitate trade negotiations
  • to provide assistance in implementing domestic and international marketing campaigns
  • to provide quality business intelligence to entrepreneurs
  • to coordinate targeted training


Multiple projects which aim to support the development of businesses in the Eastern Caribbean are currently being implemented by the OECS Commission through its Competitive Business Unit along with Ministries of the OECS Member States and regional and international agencies. The OECS Competitive Business Unit is engaged in implementing the following sector-specific programmes: 

  1. OECS Business Simulator
  2. The Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative
  3. OECS Technology Competitiveness Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 
  4. OECS Trade Expo
  5. The Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme for Youth Entrepreneurs
  6. Agri-business & Manufacturing
  7. Creative Sectors including Craft, Fashion, Film, & Music
  8. e-Business, Technology & Innovation
  9. The INTERREG Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean Project (INTERREG TEECA Project)

1 - OECS Business Simulation

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The OECS Business Simulation tool is designed for Business Support Organisations (BSOs), entrepreneurs, and educational institutions to access online business skills by starting and operating a virtual manufacturing business. The simulation provides interactive training for micro-entrepreneurs, small business owners, and those seeking to improve the success and sustainability of their start-ups with the assistance of an instructor. The goal is to enable future entrepreneurs to experience effective business management and navigate challenges and opportunities using an experiential learning approach.

Learn more. 

2 - The Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative

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The Eastern Caribbean Green Entrepreneurship Initiative is a US$ 1 million project funded by the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) and implemented by the Global Green Growth Institute in partnership with the OECS. The main objective of this initiative is to support the development of green businesses in the Eastern Caribbean, especially through the implementation of a business incubator and a business accelerator. The initiative also aims to create inclusive green jobs while helping OECS countries meet their sustainability and climate action goals. 

The project was launched in July 2021 and should be completed in 2024.  

Learn more

3 - OECS Technology Competitiveness Hub For Innovation And Entrepreneurship (TECHIE)

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OECS Techie stands for OECS Technology Competitiveness Hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It is an entrepreneurship development program that provides a range of business support services to startups and businesses in the tech space in the Eastern Caribbean, to set and fast-track them on the path to success. The program offers a range of services geared towards the advancement of the client business including orientation, training, mentoring, coaching, access to financing and seed capital, networking opportunities and more.

4 - OECS Trade Expo

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Get ready for an incredible virtual experience at the OECS Virtual Trade Expo 2023 - the largest gathering of entrepreneurs in the Eastern Caribbean! Schedule to take place from May 15th-17th, this three-day event is a must-attend for anyone looking to expand their business or explore new opportunities in the region. The OECS Virtual Trade Expo provides a unique opportunity to connect with exhibitors and trade partners from across the Eastern Caribbean, all from the comfort of your own home. With a shared virtual space, visitors can browse a wide range of authentic products and services made and delivered within the region.

Learn more

5 - The Technical Assistance And Coaching Programme For Youth Entrepreneurs

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The Technical Assistance and Coaching Programme for Youth Entrepreneurs is funded by the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) Regional Private Sector Development Programme and is being coordinated by the OECS and the Caribbean Export Development Agency. The programme aims to support the development of business in the Eastern Caribbean and more particularly to strengthen the entrepreneurial and leadership skills of youth entrepreneurs. 14 selected young entrepreneurs from six OECS Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines) are currently benefiting from the programme which was launched in July 2020. 

Learn more

6 - Agri-business & Manufacturing

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Agri-business and manufacturing are traditional sectors of the Eastern Caribbean Economic Union (ECCU). Hence, Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSMEs) in these areas also benefit from the technical support provided by the OECS Competitive Business Unit. This technical assistance aims to encourage the development of businesses in the Eastern Caribbean which are operating in these two sectors. This should be achieved by enhancing the management capabilities of agri-business and manufacturing firms including production and service delivery processes, as well as marketing of goods and services for the domestic and international markets.

7 - Creative Sectors Including Craft, Fashion, Film, & Music

 Fashion Expo in the OECS
Multiple businesses in the Eastern Caribbean are being developed in the creative sectors. MSMEs evolving in the fashion, craft, film and music industry need dedicated assistance. The OECS Competitive Business Unit has been working with industry experts, governments, and business support organisations at a regional and international level to help develop the creative business ecosystem in the Eastern Caribbean. Programmes implemented to support these businesses have been mainly funded by the 10th European Development Fund.

8 - e-Business, Technology & Innovation

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Digital transformation became critical for all businesses in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS Competitive Business Unit is mobilizing efforts to ensure that companies embrace innovation and take advantage of all the opportunities that new technologies and e-commerce have to offer including the possibility to access international markets.

9 - The INTERREG Trade Enhancement For The Eastern Caribbean Project (INTERREG TEECA Project)

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The INTERREG Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean (INTERREG TEECA) Project is a €2 million project co-funded by the INTERREG Caraïbes programme under the European Regional Development Fund. The main objective of INTERREG TEECA is to accelerate trade in the Eastern Caribbean by providing assistance to companies based in Martinique and the English-speaking countries of the OECS which wish to access to other markets. The INTERREG TEECA Project is led by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Martinique (CCIM), in partnership with the OECS through its Competitive Business Unit, the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), and the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique (CTM). The project was launched in 2018 and should be completed by the end of December 2021. 

Learn more.



Ricardo James
Head, Trade Policy Development in Trade Policy Development
Tel: +1 758 455-8803

Debra Blackman
Technical Specialist, Manufacturing
Tel: +1 767 448-5554

Kwesi Roberts
Technical Specialist, Entrepreneurship Development
Tel: +1 758 455-6382

Andrena Simon
Senior Technical Specialist for Trade Promotion and Institutional Strengthening
Tel: +1 758 287-7998

Pearl Joseph
Programme Assistant
Tel: +1 767 255-8808

Donna Athanaze
Senior Administrative Assistant
Tel: +1 767 255-8814

Cecilia St. Rose
Senior Administrative Assistant
Tel: +1 767 255-8813

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