Building an Entrepreneurial UWI

SPECIAL REPORT Building an Entrepreneurial University

As a developmental university, The UWI is determined to disrupt the historical constructs

that have disadvantaged Caribbean economies.

PROFESSOR SIR HILARY BECKLES Vice-Chancellor, The UWI

Building an Entrepreneurial University

E conomic development in the Caribbean cannot be fully understood without exposing the systems and structures that were historically created to enable it. Such structures did not foster financial independence or support self-actualisation for the majority of Caribbean people. Characterised for decades by external domination and colonial exploitation, financial institutions catering mainly to the elites, and a lack of social capital among the wider population, the post-independent Caribbean region has struggled to create an enabling environment and provide adequate incentives for indigenous entrepreneurship. The economies of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean are known to be extremely vulnerable to external shocks—natural disasters, climatic events and, as we are experiencing at this moment, global pandemics. This situation is exacerbated by the rules of the international trade system and the current official development assistance framework, both of which do not fully take into account the special needs of Caribbean SIDS.

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