UWI Innovation & Entrepreneurship High Level Process
Culture change and an acceptance of entrepreneurship as a viable career option are essential if this thrust is to succeed. EU does workshops, training, and coaching sessions on entrepreneurship targeted at both UWI stakeholders as well as the general public. Recent workshops include a three-part series on entrepreneurship to the 2019 ‘ World of Work’ students, a one-hour Entrepreneurship Lunch-time workshop on business planning for administrative personnel; and a two-part series on business planning and cash-flow forecasting and management, Entrepreneurship 101 . We delivered a customised version of this to the Cocoa Research Centre at their new Cocoa-Business incubator at The UWI Field Station in Mount Hope. Q: Once UWI Ventures is operational, where does the Entrepreneurial Unit fit? A: Going forward, EU will play a major role in the entry of Entrepreneurs into The UWI Ventures support system. Management of business mentorship, project development, and the acceleration component of entrepreneurs are all key. Simply, EU would be delivering on its core mandate but with the collaborative strength of The UWI Ventures Online Platform and Venture Capital Services. EU will coach the applicants who do not meet StACIE’s grant funding criteria to a point of readiness. Q: Would you say EU is an essential underpinning of St. Augustine’s I&E ecosystem? A: The EU is one component of The UWI I&E Ecosystem. Remember, this is a collaborative system with all the parts working together – StACIE, UWI Ventures, and all entrepreneurially focused entities on and off the Campus. The model is designed to identify entrepreneurial potential, mould these into viable projects, and connect these projects to project funders and investors. While the EU’s role in the model is the moulding element but that does not mean persons with good projects cannot approach UWI Ventures or StACIE directly.
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