Caribbean InTransit


UNESCO Transcultura calls for young Caribbean entrepreneurs in the Cultural and Creative Industries.

Call for the Entrepreneurship incubator: Integration into an entrepreneurial regional ecosystem.

**Context and purpose**

This call for applications is launched in the framework of Transcultura: Integrating Cuba, the Caribbean and the European Union through Culture and Creativity, a five-year Programme implemented by the UNESCO Regional Office in Havana with the support of the European Union.

The overall purpose of the Programme is to deepen cultural integration in the Caribbean and to strengthen people-to-people cooperation and exchange within the region and with the European Union. In particular, the Entrepreneurship and Incubator component aims to strengthen capacities for the development of new cultural projects, self-employment, and start-up/scale-up activities. The innovative and entrepreneurial project development supported by the Programme will improve beneficiaries' access to new knowledge, markets, management models and sources of funding.

In this context, the Entrepreneurship incubator: Integration into an entrepreneurial regional ecosystem is an online incubator initiative which offers a nexus for creative entrepreneurs to share their thought-provoking ideas and work within a wider community of cultural professionals. Through this initiative, creative and scalable project ideas, within the Cultural and Creative Industries and in their early stages of generation, will be provided with the opportunity to connect and build on a collaborative ecosystem to increase entrepreneurial capacities for the creation of competitive business and relevant connections for the generation of funding and self-employment opportunities.

During this eight -week programme, from late February 2024 to mid-April 2024, participants will engage in a variety of enriching activities designed to enhance their entrepreneurial skills through developing and activating a creative ecosystem in the Caribbean:

I. Online technical capacity building courses:
Over a period of eight weeks, participants will enroll in three comprehensive online courses covering a wide range of topics on building on a collaborative ecosystem to increase entrepreneurial capacities as follows:

1. The Creative Success Frontier: This course provides technical expertise in creative project management through a 12-hour interactive online engagement for creative entrepreneurs who want to launch new products or marketing campaigns, access new markets and make relevant connections. With a collaborative community approach combined with structured guides, the synapse methodology applied will enable entrepreneurs to move from seed idea to online project launch and learn effective collaboration techniques with the Creative Success Frontier approach. The course will also be supported by a combination of live video coaching, video tutorials, journals, and community engagement.

2. Ecosystem Architecture:
This 12-hour course prepares participants to engage in a learning community that networks Caribbean and beyond. Participants will investigate how they can integrate their offerings on The Meeting Place Community regional platform, host live events, network toward increasing social impact and monetize their creative offerings. As this platform provides a hub for a range of creative networks to collaborate toward social and industry transformation, participants will learn to identify and build out their specific positioning and role within this matrix.

3. Investment Readiness: Young and creative entrepreneurs in the Caribbean can become investment - ready by following strategic key steps over time and repeatedly. Business planning, strong internal and external teams and a proven track record of collaboration are key features of investment ready entrepreneurs. These strengths are contingent on understanding the big picture of the creative industry landscape in which they are operating. This course will guide participants through some of the key factors and principles in building successful businesses including maintaining transparency and accountability.

II. One - to - one mentoring with expert business professionals. Participants will have the valuable opportunity to receive personalized guidance from experienced business professionals. Each participant will be paired with a dedicated mentor, who will provide expert advice and tailored support to their specific needs over designed two sessions.

III. Integration into ‘The Meeting Place Community’ regional platform The participants will be integrated into the web platform ‘The Meeting Place Community’, a regional host of a creative and innovative network, where they will be able to showcase their entrepreneurial project profiles, accessing services such as collaborative business plans, e-commerce, networking, funding opportunities, while being supported to create their own online events within the platform. The platform facilitates a creative ecosystem for communication and engagement with a wider community of cultural stakeholders: entrepreneurs, artists, policymakers, funders, and audiences specifically concerning the Culture and Creative Industries. It expands support for creative businesses by providing infrastructure for creative networks to access resources, produce, learn, share, and scale projects.

**Who can apply**

To be considered for the UNESCO Transcultura entrepreneurship incubator, applicants must meet the following requirements:

1. Age: Applicants must be between 18 and 35 years old.

2. Geographical scope: Applicants must be citizens and permanent residents of any of the following 17 Caribbean countries within the Transcultura Programme’s geographical scope: Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Monserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname or Trinidad and Tobago.

3. Professional requirements: young entrepreneurs with an early-stage business initiative in any of the Cultural and Creative Industries category presented hereafter.

Thirty-four (34) participants will be selected from this Call. Incubation activities will be offered in English, Spanish and French.

**Application Process**

Applicants should apply through this online application form to provide personal data, and information on their cultural and creative business / entrepreneurship initiative.

At the time of application, candidates will also be asked to provide a digital copy of passport or any personal ID as supporting document.

The deadline for submitting the applications is 9 February 2024, at 23:59 Paris time (UTC +2h)

**Selection Process **

Once all the applications are received, they will be subject to a rigorous selection process.

● A Selection Committee, comprised of experienced professionals from Caribbean in Transit and members of the UNESCO Transcultura team, will select a maximum of thirty-four (34) young Caribbean entrepreneurs, based on their background and business initiative. Successful applicants will be notified no later than 22 February 2024. Please note that:

● Only fully completed applications will be considered and evaluated for suitability.

● Once all the applications are received, the Committee might request additional information. Applicants are invited to check their inboxes regularly, including SPAM boxes.

● The UNESCO Transcultura programme reserves the right to use the applicants´ information for the exclusive purpose of the implementation of the initiative and preserving confidentiality.

For any inquiries related to this Call, please contact Safiya Hoyte, Project Assistant, Caribbean in Transit at [email protected]