Supporting entrepreneurs in the BVI with the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship

Participants are pictured with their certificates alongside Ninth District Representative, Hon. Vincent Wheatley and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Arlene Smith-Thompson.
Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
17 February 2023

After four months of intense training, 21 BVI entrepreneurs have completed the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean capacity development training programme.

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean opened its doors in 2011 as a joint initiative of Virgin Atlantic Holidays and Virgin Unite. It is based in Kingston, Jamaica, and offers acceleration for growth-stage entrepreneurs across the Caribbean.

Lauri-Ann Ainsworth, CEO of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean, said: “We were thrilled to be back in the BVI, supporting and empowering local entrepreneurs through our accelerator program. With our comprehensive programme including a week-long investment readiness BootCamp, a 12-week virtual platform training, and access to mentors and coaches, our accelerator program provided a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to expand their knowledge, refine their pitch decks, and grow their businesses.

“We are proud to have played a role in the development of these innovative enterprises and look forward to our continued efforts in fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the BVI.”

Sandi Boyce, a participant of the programme, pitching at the closing ceremony
Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean

Entrepreneurs took part in seven bootcamp sessions via Zoom and on site at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, which worked in partnership with the Branson Centre on this programme. These bootcamp sessions covered everything from goal setting and strategy, to pitch prep and demo presentations.

Founders then completed 12 missions on a virtual training platform, which helped guide them in creating and submitting their final business pitch decks. Over the 16 week course, the entrepreneurs were introduced to the key concepts of business development and growth covering: leadership and team building, business as a force for good, industry analysis, competitive analysis, marketing, growth strategy, organisation design, financials, sales forecasting, valuation, governance, and pitching.

The entrepreneurs also receive mentoring from business experts, working in groups with other founders who had similar needs.

Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean
Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean

“I enrolled in the Branson Centre's training programme because I realised that my business of over 22 years was stuck,” said Joyce Ricketts, founder of Hope Designs. “The training received from the Branson Centre Team inspired me to stay on the course. My biggest takeaway was the knowledge gained from the financial session.”

Kezia Allen, a fellow Branson Centre graduate, added: “My next plan of action is to viciously apply all the training received to increase my marketing to showcase my newly redefined services. At the same time, I want implement and develop more ways to apply Richard Branson's Triple P principle of 'people, planet, profit' for an effective social impact.”

Find out more about the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean’s work.