Got A Business Idea? US$100,000 Up For Grabs!

You could get a US$100,000 grant for a project that fosters local and regional partnership and which focuses on investment, entrepreneurship or innovation by participating in the Caribbean Idea Marketplace (CIM) initiative.

All Up for Grabs

The CIM was launched by Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller at Jamaica Investment Forum 2012, now on in Montego Bay.

What Exactly is CIM?

CIM is “a business plan competition platform that encourages local and diaspora entrepreneurs to forge partnerships around innovative projects that will generate employment and economic opportunities in the Caribbean region.”

There are a number of stakeholders in the project. First, it is the work of US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton. Digicel and Scotiabank are partners. Finally, CIM is managed by Compete Caribbean who will provide the US$100,000 grants for winning projects.

Compete Caribbean, essentially, represents, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United Kingdom Department of International Development (DFID) and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Mr. Jose Jorge Saavedra, Executive Director of Compete Caribbean had this to say about CIM:

“CIM is an opportunity for entrepreneurs on both sides of the Atlantic to upgrade and expand their businesses and increase revenue.  At the same time, this initiative can also help to solve some of the Caribbean region’s most pressing challenges by increasing investment, employment and the availability of goods and services.  It is therefore fitting that we launch CIM at this Jamaica Investment Forum where public and private sector actors from across the region have come together to discuss investment opportunities in Jamaica…”


Melissa Martinez-Nadal, Caribbean Idea Marketplace Coordinator made a special presentation on the project. In essence, these are the requirements she outlined for interest participants:

  • Local and diaspora entrepreneurs are expected to submit applications for CIM funding.
  • Grants are awarded on a competitive basis.
  • You must be located within a CARIFORUM country
  • Submit a Project Concept Note at
  • Ideas must be submitted in partnership with a Caribbean diaspora entrepreneur or business located in the USA, Canada and the UK.
  • Applications will be accepted March 1 – May 31st, 2012.”

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