Regional Technology Entrepreneurs to Benefit from Mentorship Support

Photo: Contributed Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC), Project Manager, Carlington Burrell (centre); with CCIC GreenTech Entrepreneurs, Founder of Preelabs,Yekini Wallen-Bryan (left); and Chief Technical Officer Preelabs, Philip Logan, at the CCIC mentorship programme launch in January.

Story Highlights

  • The Scientific Research Council (SRC)-based Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) is providing approximately 60,000 regional and international mentors to green technology entrepreneurs across the region.
  • This platform enables users to make mentoring connections anywhere and anytime from the comfort of their homes or offices.
  • The mentorship programme, which is open to the CCIC, its hubs and affiliated entrepreneurs, is intended to help build a new collection of leaders in the areas of sustainable agribusiness, renewable energy, energy efficiency, water/waste management, and resource use efficiency.

The Scientific Research Council (SRC)-based Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) is providing approximately 60,000 regional and international mentors to green technology entrepreneurs across the region.

The undertaking, being done in partnership with the entity, MicroMentor, through the World Bank Climate Technology Programme, allows mentors and mentees to create their profiles on a virtual mentorship platform that is user-friendly and free.

This platform enables users to make mentoring connections anywhere and anytime from the comfort of their homes or offices.

Programme applicants will have the opportunity to select the mentor or mentee with whom they wish to be paired.

The mentorship programme, which is open to the CCIC, its hubs and affiliated entrepreneurs, is intended to help build a new collection of leaders in the areas of sustainable agribusiness, renewable energy, energy efficiency, water/waste management, and resource use efficiency.

Project Manager at the CCIC, Carlington Burrell, tells JIS News that “start-ups in emerging markets such as ours are at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing mentors and mentorship programmes”, adding that this is the gap that the initiative intended to fill.

He further explains that entrepreneurs are powerful agents of change, as they are the catalysts for job creation and drivers of economic growth.

Mr. Burrell said this is the main reason the CCIC decided to partner with MicroMentor.

“Through the new CCIC GreenTech mentorship programme, entrepreneurs have a unique opportunity to make positive global changes while growing their business,” the Project Manager adds.

Mentors will assist entrepreneurs in making their businesses scalable by delivering crucial advice based on real-world experience.

Speaking at the programme’s launch in January, special guest speaker, Director, Centre for Entrepreneurship, Thinking and Practice at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Mona campus, Dr. K’adamawe K’nife, noted that programmes such as this can be a communication bridge between millennials and baby boomers, as “it is like a grandparent kind of principle to ensure that the current generation becomes brighter and more advanced than the mentor”.

Marketing and Communications Manager at the SRC and programme mentor, Carolyn Rose-Miller, highlights her sojourn in the engagement, and explains that “we have experiences that we can draw from, share, and give back with our time”.

She shares that her journey with her mentee has been fruitful thus far.

“My mentee is a great innovator… he generates ideas; but we want to commercialise these ideas,” she says.

Additionally, Ms. Rose-Miller points out that mentorship results in greater accountability, as it is a partnership.

Chief Executive Officer of LumiTech International Limited and programme participant, Kevin Harris, emphasises that “having a sounding board in a mentor is invaluable”.

“It helps you get your focus back; it helps you get your energy back; and helps you move forward,” he says.

“This programme has allowed me to gain more confidence in what I am doing. The more support you have behind you, the more confident you are and the more energy you have to move forward,” Mr. Harris adds.

Start-ups interested in being a part of the programme are invited to contact the CCIC or its hubs in the respective Caribbean countries.

The CCIC is a consortium of the SRC in Jamaica and the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) in Trinidad and Tobago.

It has 12 established country spokes throughout the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), with the hub located in Jamaica to execute a unified response to address climate change.

The organisation has a mandate to assist in the development of the Caribbean’s clean technology ecosystem.

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