Barbados has positioned itself as a new global hub for thought leadership, innovation, investment, climate sustainability and an aspirational lifestyle. Big ideas and creativity thrive here. The world’s best and brightest deem Barbados a perfect place to dream, live and work. It is a magnet for high-end niche services, especially in the alternative investment space.
With Barbados currently on the cusp of a renaissance, the island has been nurturing and growing the tech community by attracting the founders of some of the world’s leading tech companies, drawn by:
• beautiful Caribbean lifestyle
• favourable taxes
• business-friendly environment
• excellent leadership
• a like-minded community of friends and tech entrepreneurs that has been growing steadily season after season.
In the fourth quarter of 2020, a new wave of persons from Canada, the UK, Nigeria, the United Arab Emirates and the United States arrived on island. Since then, the initial motivator - a prized destination to endure COVID in some of the world’s most idyllic villa accommodations - has turned into the permanently trending place to be in 2022 and beyond.
Today, we see entrepreneurs, investors and traders not just visiting or banking in Barbados, but immigrating here in person, becoming long term tenants primarily, then property owners in quick succession. They invest in real estate, fund and advise Barbadian start-ups and industries in alternative investment spaces (crypto exchanges, Web3 Defi protocols, NFTs, FinTech, Medicinal Cannabis) and more. Large fintech corporations are themselves keen to establish a presence with local offices. The island’s West Coast Beach Clubs are quickly becoming a hub for innovation and the most elite co-working space this side of Silicon Valley.
The impact on the island’s start-up ecosystem is noticeable in the burgeoning number of entrepreneurs and investors going ‘all in on Barbados’, calling the island home or their home away from home.
Why tech and why Barbados? Well, for starters, with a maximum tax rate of 5.5% and no capital gains tax, the island is the number-one regime for budding businesses because it’s not zero-rated, nor is it flagged by the European Union as a tax haven.
Young and Portable
Younger tech entrepreneurs (the under 45s) bring their teams out here to work remotely. It’s more portable now, homes are portable, and so are their teams.
Visitors are charmed by the island’s understated quality of authenticity and a vibe of collective responsibility. Once you have the basics - security, plus the glorious weather, not to mention the venture capital and hedge fund guys - you have the layers and will to build.
Safe, solid internet. Thanks to the island’s fibre optic cabling, some even say that the internet connection here is better than ‘at home’.
As a Barbadian real estate agent, lawyer, investor and Board Member in the Blockchain and Medicinal Cannabis space - plus being a steward of the Barbados ecosystem - part of my role is to facilitate more connectivity and access within the founder community. Granted, meetings often happen over drinks at restaurants on the beach, or sometimes they even take place mid-activity, such as surfing or sailing. Tech here is like a club. A group of people may just be out surfing and having fun, then the next thing you know a deal is being made.
With the island’s international real estate market and foreign direct investment experiencing a very healthy resurgence, I am really excited about the future of Barbados.