ABIA to be World Bank Project Hub

ABIA Chairman Dr McChesney EmanuelANTIGUA ST. JOHN'S - The World Bank-funded Caribbean Climate Innovation Center (CCIC) has selected the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority (ABIA) as its local hub for the organisation's groundbreaking sustainable entrepreneurship programme.

CCIC facilitator Mona Whyte, along with ABIA Enterprise Development Director Jacqueline Yearwood, announced the impending partnership on April 1 on government television's Good Morning Antigua & Barbuda programme.

"We want extensions of branches in 14 Caribbean countries, we hope that Antigua would be one of those branches, and in particular, the Antigua & Barbuda Investment Authority," Whyte said during the interview.

During her two-day trip, Whyte and ABIA management met to discuss the particulars of the partnership and the creation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two entrepreneurship promotion organisations.

On Observer Media's Voice of the People radio programme, Yearwood said the Authority is keen to support the CCIC as its local centre.

"The main goal of the 14 hubs is essential for the rolling out of the projects," the ABIA director said. "We will be working with the consortium as the local point of interest and point of contact to help spearhead the projects locally."

ABIA Chairman Dr McChesney Emanuel said this new partnership is one of many initiatives the Authority has embarked upon to assist local businesses.

"It also adds impetus to our charge of using innovation and ideas to drive this 'New Economy for Growth and Prosperity'," Dr Emanuel said.

He added, "ABIA is about empowerment and opportunity. Entrepreneurs here in Antigua & Barbuda are capable of effecting worldwide change through green innovation. Entrepreneurship and innovation in green technology can also yield good financial reward."

Once the MOU is finalised, the Authority would join 13 other CARICOM countries as a CCIC programme hub.

The CCIC Proof of Concept (POC) Grant Funding Scheme offers funding up to US$50,000 to entrepreneurs in CARICOM countries with projects or prototypes in five areas: resource use efficiency/recycling, water management, sustainable agriculture, solar energy and energy efficiency.

The deadline to submit for grant funding has been extended to April 20.

For further information on the CCIC POC Grant Funding Scheme or to apply, visit http://www.caribbeancic.org/. Applicants can also contact the Authority's Enterprise Development Department at (268) 481-1000.

Reporting by Caribarena news, publishing by Ofer Shaked.

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