Eastern Caribbean Business Resilience Challenge

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Do you have an idea to help your business or community become more resilient to shocks and disasters? Apply for the Eastern Caribbean Business Resilience Challenge! Applications will open July 27th and will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The deadline for final submission of applications is Friday, September 23rd.

Eastern Caribbean Business Resilience Challenge
Photo credit: Microsoft Stock Photos.

The Opportunity:

To increase disaster resilience in the Eastern Caribbean, we want to support ventures, public-private-civil partnerships, or other collaborations or organizations with revenue-generating models to make investments in their businesses and communities in order to scale their economic growth, sustainability, and resilience. We aim to ultimately increase disaster resilience in local businesses and communities.

We offer:

  • Flexible options, including funding, on terms catered to your capital needs.
  • Assistance in creating bankable business proposals.
  • Workshops and seminars that will give you practical business advice and useful connections with knowledgeable consultants and potential business partners in your industry or community.

The Competition Process:

This is a three-stage application process, starting with a concept note, followed by a full application, and finally a pitch session. The first round of the challenge will open in St. Lucia. The next round of the challenge will solicit applications from the wider East Caribbean Region to include Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and The Bahamas. The dates of the funding windows will be published on our Facebook page here.

Stage One: Submit a short concept note that will be evaluated based on basic eligibility criteria (defined below), contribution to increasing resilience to disasters and climate change, and measurable deliverables that correspond with the requested funding amount and your organization’s revenue for the last fiscal year. If approved, you will be notified of the opportunity to participate in the full application process.

Stage Two: At the full application stage, you will submit a more detailed application that will be evaluated based on the quality of business vision and plan, clear need and use for funds shown, current and historical operating record and financial information, standardized financial projections, statement of impact of funds on business and community, and having a clear path to repayment. As part of the full application process, you will be invited to attend training sessions that will include an introduction to business resilience and Q&A sessions on the full application process. If selected as a finalist, you will progress to stage three.

Stage Three: You will receive coaching on making an investment pitch and have the opportunity to participate in pitch sessions with potential investors and receive funding.

Applicant Profile:

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), complementary initiatives or projects, and organizations seeking to make capital investments. These should have revenue/financial streams that will produce a rate of return. Select larger enterprises will also be considered.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Be operating in the Eastern Caribbean
  • Have an idea/proposal to improve the resilience of their organization, venture, partnership, or other collaboration and/or make a significant contribution to business/community resilience to disasters
  • Have measurable and achievable deliverables that correspond with the amount of funding requested
  • Be able to provide historical financial information

Applications that address one or more of the following challenge areas will be prioritized:

  • Multi-sector collaboration for crisis response: potential solutions may include improvements to crisis communication, connectivity challenges, and awareness and education for disaster preparedness and response.
  • Business continuity planning: potential solutions may include building supply chain resilience, providing care for employees (HR & finance considerations), and investment in and design of recovery plans for businesses, especially SMEs.
  • Supply chain support: potential solutions may include cross-industry or cross-island support and/or coordination.

How to Apply:

You can submit your concept note application through the following link: Eastern Caribbean Business Resilience Challenge 2022.

To seek information on the application process, geographies where we are accepting applications, and associated timelines, please visit our Facebook page for updates.

The Context:

The Eastern Caribbean is highly vulnerable to disasters and climate change threats. According to International Monetary Fund research, the region is up to seven times more likely to experience a natural disaster than larger states, and suffers six times as much damage when disasters do occur.

Severe weather often disrupts business operations and can have devastating effects for businesses, suppliers, and customers. According to a World Bank survey of tourism firms, Hurricane Irma caused damages for 97 percent of firms on the affected islands, with an average $786,000 in damage expenses and an average 131 days for sales recovery. Six months later, less than half of the firms surveyed had returned to pre-storm earnings. As disaster threats increase due to climate change, these financial losses are expected to increase.

To remain viable, firms in the region need to make targeted investments in resilience-increasing measures such as business continuity planning, digital upgrading, and back-up infrastructure, in anticipation of the next disaster. Businesses play a critical role in supporting disaster resilience in their communities. They may be essential suppliers of food, energy, or other goods; support logistics, distribution, and/or waste management after a disaster; and/or provide much-needed support to their employees.

This Challenge is part of USAID’s Caribbean Corporate Investment for Resilience Initiative (CCIR). To learn more about the CCIR Blended Finance Mechanism, you can find a factsheet here.

The CCIR Blended Finance Mechanism is being managed on behalf of the USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance by PM Consulting Group, CollaborateUp, Pan American Development Foundation, and TOTAL Impact Capital.

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Last updated: July 27, 2022

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