Barbados is now a step closer to becoming a green energy country, as five local entrepreneurs were recently recognised for their environmentally-friendly inventions as part of the Bloom Cleantech Cluster Barbados Incubation programme. During an awards ceremony held at the Bagnall's Point Gallery & Annex last Wednesday, participants referred to as incubatees, were awarded grants to assist with funding their projects.
In his opening remarks, CEO of Export Barbados (BIDC), Mark Hill noted that the recent name change was reflective of the company’s pivot from being primarily a small business development agency to an export development agency to ensure that exported products met international and environmental standards.
“Clean Tech exports are going to become a significant contributor to our export numbers … Based on our data, 70-75% of our exports is based on bio-based activities and one of the key strategies that we will be focusing on is for the country to have a significant focus on biotech exports.” He further urged awardees to think about various areas of biotech that can be explored.
The programme which was a collaboration among Export Barbados, UN Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Global Environment Facility, Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of International Business and Industry was launched in September last year as part of the ‘National Strategic Plan 2005-2025’ to make Barbados a ‘green circular economy’ and promote sustainable energy technology innovation.
Incubatees underwent several online training courses over 10 months in Green Energy, business modelling, and financial management, under the guidance of assigned project managers. Securing a grant to fund their projects were Dario Alleyne, CEO of Bim EV Rental Services, Julian Clarke, Managing Director of OnSolar Renewable Energy Solutions, Kyle Albert, Owner of ProSolar246, Kerri-Ann Bovell, and a team of students from the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology.
BLOOM is a national, sustainable energy and climate technology cluster based in Barbados with a regional and international focus. BLOOM coordinates and provides business advisory services for its members in project financing, market research, innovation management, and product commercialisation. BLOOM also provides individual coaching and financial support for innovative startups and entrepreneurs as a part of the business incubator runway program.