JOHN’S, Antigua – Fifteen business women from the islands of Antigua, Montserrat, Nevis and St. Kitts began an 8-month acceleration program yesterday at the Anchorage Hotel.
Included in that number is Merle Galloway of MTG Inc. a Health and Wellness company and Vidya Birkhoff of JavaLava Art Cafe.
The AP is an initiative of the Women Innovators Network in the Caribbean (WINC) an InfoDev project to develop female entrepreneurship across the region.
Wednesday’s session was facilitated by Nerissa Golden, the certified WINC AP facilitator from Montserrat. She encouraged the women to be fully engaged in all of the sessions and activities in order for their businesses to benefit.
“In the room are women who you can learn from, assist and do business with,” Golden said during the opening session. “Being willing to be vulnerable and truthful about how we can support each other will be critical to you getting the most from the program.”
More than 100 women across the Caribbean were competitively selected to participate in the pilot project. The AP offers the women monthly opportunities to meet face to face and online, gives them access to expert training to increase their capacity and business mentorship.
The 15 women include lawyers, accountants, hoteliers, restauranteurs, and health and beauty experts.
“I am thankful for the chance to be a part of this,” said Lisa Abraham of House of Pamper in Antigua. “I know it is time for me to make a shift to the next level and I believe this will help me to do that.”
Antigua & Barbuda’s certified facilitator Sandra Baptist of PACCS Inc, told the ladies to think bigger than what they feel themselves capable of and what they were presently doing. The St. Kitts & Nevis certified facilitator is Telly Onu. She shared that next level growth only comes when you build a team that can implement the vision and execute a system to deliver services and products in a consistent way.
“We’re all used to doing everything ourselves but to make that pivotal shift comes with letting go some of the day to day elements of business to be the strategic thinker,” Onu shared.
Travel to Antigua was supported by the Montserrat Ministry of Communications & Works, and Quintessence Ltd. St. Kitts. The program is funded by the Government of Canada through InfoDev, a World Bank Group.