This feature is an outcome of infoDev, a multi-donor program administered by the World Bank Group, with a focus on entrepreneurs in developing economies. This piece was originally published on March 2, 2018.
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, March 2, 2018 — A new mobile application called Findrpro has received $5,000 USD investment via the LINK-Caribbean programme’s 5-5-5 pitch competition.
In the recently held Bahamas edition of the competition, sister co-founders Yamel Marshall and Janay Pyfrom-Symonette presented their new mobile app that promises to provide a digital on-demand platform to connect consumers with a reliable network of service providers and provide them with instant estimates for desired services.
The sisters were struggling to find and contract service providers, such as electricians, and plumbers. After a few years of developing the idea, Pyfrom-Symonette, who has a strong background in web application development and technology systems for business start-ups, applied to the LINK-Caribbean 5-5-5 pitch competition to advance the business further.
“It's a data-intensive initiative, so we do require a research assistant that will provide support to our strategic partners and gather market intelligence needed to code dynamically into the web and mobile applications. We will be using the investment to support staff salaries to assist with this,” Pyfrom-Symonette said.
Five judges comprising local high-net-worth individuals and members of the entrepreneurship ecosystem judged the five companies who pitched. The judges were Raymond Jones, Donald Demeritte, Keva Cartwright, Sean Brennen, and Christopher McNair. They felt that the business idea presented by Findrpro was not only great for the market but also has the potential scalability.
“We received 27 applications to pitch from The Bahamas alone, which is a great indication of the entrepreneurship ecosystem apparent in this market,” said McNair, manager of competitiveness and export promotion at Caribbean Export.
To date, a total of 97 applications have been received across those markets that will be hosting pitch competitions. The final two pitch competitions to be held in Grenada and Saint Lucia are open to all businesses in the OECS and have been rescheduled to take place in April 2018, allowing more time for entrepreneurs to submit pitch decks and apply before March 16, 2018.
Caribbean Export and the World Bank Group under the Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC) initiated the pitch competition to raise greater awareness around the LINK-Caribbean programme and support the development of a vibrant angel investment ecosystem within the region.
The World Bank Group, together with the Caribbean Export Development Agency, launched LINK-Caribbean, funded by the government of Canada under the auspices of EPIC. The investment facilitation program aims to enable early-stage Caribbean entrepreneurs to raise capital from private investors, particularly business angel investors.
About LINK-Caribbean and EPIC
LINK-Caribbean is an initiative of the World Bank Group’s Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), a seven-year, CAD 20 million program funded by the government of Canada that seeks to build a supportive ecosystem for high-growth and sustainable enterprises throughout the Caribbean.
The Project Development Objectives are to contribute to increased competitiveness, growth, and job creation in the Caribbean region through the development of a robust and vibrant innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. EPIC has three core activity pillars: mobile innovation, climate technology, and women-led entrepreneurship. These pillars are complemented by an access to finance facility for Caribbean entrepreneurs and a skills upgrading and capacity development program for all ecosystem stakeholders.
About Caribbean Export Development Agency
Caribbean Export is a regional export development and trade and investment promotion organization of the Forum of Caribbean States currently executing the Regional Private Sector Program funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund. Caribbean Export’s mission is to increase the competitiveness of Caribbean countries by providing quality export development and trade and investment promotion services through effective program execution and strategic alliances.