Supporting new change-makers in the Caribbean

Branson Centre Caribbean
Branson Centre Caribbean
The author Gizelle Riley smiles at camera
by Gizelle Riley
30 May 2022
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship is the Caribbean’s leading business accelerator on a mission to develop dynamic Caribbean entrepreneurs.

From start-ups to growth-stage business owners, the Branson Centre has been supporting purpose-driven entrepreneurs for over a decade – offering a unique combination of training, mentorship, and access to finance, through accelerator programmes, workshops, and its virtual training platform.

Earlier this year, the Branson Centre welcomed 15 new entrepreneurs into its accelerator programme – a high-touch programme, designed to nurture entrepreneurs into leaders, and help them develop business acumen that can facilitate increased revenue and break into new markets.

Over 300 businesses submitted applications and after a rigorous vetting process the 15 successful entrepreneurs and their businesses were selected: DenArthur Analytics Limited, Intelex Systems Limited, Naturalis Limited, Better Foods Distributors, Mi Natural Limited, One Love Multisports JA, Gaelle Cosmetics, Rio Grande Farms Exporters, ODEM Creative Media Limited, Property Titans, Rustique Signs Limited, CET Consultancy, and The Bagel Shoppe Ja.

Branson Centre Caribbean
Branson Centre Caribbean

“This 3-month programme will not be a walk in the park – it will challenge our entrepreneurs on many levels,” said Branson Centre’s CEO, Lauri-Ann Ainsworth. “We always strive to build a dynamic cohort,” she added. “Each entrepreneur was selected because we saw that they have the potential to be business leaders across a wide cross-section of industries.”. Ainsworth said that “agility is crucial to survive and thrive in today’s new normal,” which is a core principle entrepreneurs will take away from this programme. “It will help them step out of their comfort zone and attempt to do what they thought was not possible.”

The newest additions to the Branson Centre family are following in the footsteps of some huge inspirations, as many entrepreneurs who have joined the programme in recent years have gone on to make a massive impact across the Caribbean.

Each entrepreneur was selected because we saw that they have the potential to be business leaders across a wide cross-section of industries.

Since joining the Branson Centre's programme in 2018, Larren Peart, CEO of Bluedot Insights, has received investment into his data marketing company and is on track to listing Bluedot on the Jamaican stock market. Incredible work has also been done by Joelle Smith, who despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, received a grant from the Development Bank of Jamaica and launched the Kingston Creative Hub - providing ready-made office spaces for creative entrepreneurs.

Branson Centre Caribbean
Branson Centre Caribbean

In addition to welcoming a new cohort, the team has recently set in motion its business acceleration consulting model. “We want to make an even bigger impact on the Caribbean entrepreneurial ecosystem, so we are taking our proven results and methodologies developed over the years to support other incubators, accelerators and business enablers,” said Ainsworth.

Under this new offering the Branson Centre will support Unite BVI’s training and mentorship programme, focused on accelerating the growth of start-up entrepreneurs in the British Virgin Islands. The partnering of these two Caribbean-based organisations is an exciting opportunity for the two teams and highlights Virgin Unite and the Branson family’s commitment to entrepreneurship and growth across the region.

The future looks bright for these savvy visionaries and the Branson Centre is proud to be part of their journey. Apply for Branson Centre's business accelerator programme today.