The BLOOM Cleantech Cluster is making a vital contribution to Barbados’ sustainability efforts and green energy targets. It feeds into the implementation of the National Strategic Plan 2005- 2025, which aims at making Barbados a ‘green circular economy’ and the ‘most environmentally-advanced green country in Latin America and the Caribbean’.
BLOOM Cleantech Cluster Advances in 2022
The BLOOM Cleantech Incubation Programme aims to promote cleantech entrepreneurship and commercialization of new cleantech innovations. It provides various business advisory services for the selected start-ups, including business planning assistance, coaching, mentoring, matchmaking and access to grant, project and private financing. It’s been running for two years and currently has agreements with 14 start-ups. The Cluster is also coordinating global acceleration programmes with its international partners. About 20 start-ups and MSMEs have participated in acceleration programmes organized by BLOOM in 2022. This is an important milestone indicator for BLOOM and provides evidence that high quality incubation and accelerator services are in high demand in Barbados and the Caribbean. In 2022, the BLOOM cluster launched two international acceleration programmes:
Leaders in Innovation Fellowship (LIF) Programme
The LIF programme supports entrepreneurs in commercialising their innovations and building scalable businesses to tackle local challenges. There are over 1,400 innovators who have taken part in the LIF programme in the past 7 years, from 19 countries across the world. Approximately 3,500 jobs were created, and $100 million dollars was raised by LIF start-up innovators. LIF Global 2023 kicked-off on 5 December 2022, welcoming 58 entrepreneurs from around the world. The entrepreneurs will benefit from free, bespoke training and follow-on support, including expert mentoring, support resources, networking opportunities and events to refine their pitch decks and better understand product scale and sustainability.
Entrepreneurs and projects selected for the second cohort of LIF Global Barbados in 2023 are: Shamar Ward – Repurpose Cell Phone Information System (RepCIS) Simera Crawford – BitEgreen Market Inc. Jasmine Greene – Private Caribbean Study Goals Online School.
Caribbean Circular Economy Accelerator 2022 (CCEA)
In August 2022, the BLOOM Cleantech Cluster launched the first Caribbean Circular Economy (CE) Accelerator in cooperation with SAGANA and Circulate Capital, with financial support from the IDB. It ensures that participating companies are investment ready for pre- SEED and pre-series A level investments and covers various aspects of business management. 10 CE start-ups and SMEs from Barbados and other countries received course certificates in December 2022. Half of the companies were able to raise 1.5 million USD, including grant, loan and equity financing.
BLOOM Cleantech Cluster Presented as Role Model for the Global Programme The BLOOM Cluster team had the privilege of attending a Steering Committee meeting hosted by UNIDO on September 6th 2022 in Vienna. The Cluster delegation discussed partnership possibilities with the Regional BLOOM Cluster Programme and the Global Network of Regional Sustainable Energy Centres (GN-SEC). The BLOOM Cleantech Cluster concept was presented for the heads of 10 GN-SEC centres representing 108 developing countries. As a result of this high-level GN-SEC meeting, the Barbados BLOOM Cleantech Cluster was presented as a role model for a global programme by UNIDO.
Cooperation with Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN)
The Private Financing Advisory Network (PFAN) is a global network of climate and clean energy financing experts, which offers free business coaching and investment facilitation to entrepreneurs developing climate and clean energy projects in emerging markets. Two BLOOM Cluster incubatees, Goodridge Power and Healing Grove Contained Farm, have been approved for PFAN coaching and investment facilitation. PFAN prepares companies to meet investors and, once ready, enables targeted investor introductions. The applied project financing through the PFAN network exceeds 1 million USD.
For more information on the background and evolution of the BLOOM Cleantech project, read last year’s Business Barbados feature.
Mr. Mark Hill
CEO - Export Barbados
Dr. Terrell Thompson
BLOOM Cluster Manager