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RevUP Caribbean expands to Belize, eyeing Turks & Caicos next

RevUP Caribbean has extended its programmes to Belize.

The virtual incubator signed a memorandum of understanding, which extends its training to members of the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry or BCCI. The business group is the largest private sector membership-based organisation in Belize with over 350 paid-up members, some of which are themselves associations, bringing the total number of companies represented, directly and indirectly, to approximately 5,000.

RevUP Caribbean, a virtual incubator, already operates in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica.

The incubator has already done two training sessions in Belize, the second of which wrapped up on December 4, and RevUP Caribbean head, Sandra Glasgow, said she was was using the Yuletide season to recharge for the third cohort, which commences in February.

Glasgow says the expansion to Belize is a bid to grow programme participation within the region Caribbean by facilitating the training necessary for nascent businesses to access funding.

“We’re really focusing on the Caribbean start-up market because there really isn’t anything like what we’re doing here in Jamaica, or in any of the other Caribbean countries,” Glasgow said.

The entry into Belize has two dimensions.

“There are two components, the first of which is to have the BCCI membership participate in our incubator. The second is to explore the feasibility of finding angel investors in Belize and create a chapter of FirstAngels in Belize,” she said.

FirstAngels is an investor group in Jamaica, whose individual members provide angel funding for young businesses and entrepreneurial ventures.

The Belize programme will see early-stage enterprises being guided towards achieving profitability and sustainability through RevUP’s training. With the establishment of a chapter of the FirstAngels network in Belize, its Jamaican members will potentially be taking stakes in yet another market.

Glasgow also manages the FirstAngelsJa network, which she co-founded.

She adds that RevUP wants to usher along the development of a functioning investor network in Trinidad & Tobago, while noting that the two angel networks in the twin island republic, despite being established two years ago, have not yet made any investments.

“A lot of the founders have really good ideas, they have the desire to be entrepreneurial but they lack some of the basic competences that they really need to succeed,” she said.

RevUP meanwhile is also exploring the extension of its work to the Turks & Caicos Islands as talks resume following the passage of Hurricane Ian.

The RevUP training programme offers five months of training per cohort, executed virtually. It covers company operation in a digital environment, accounting and finance, marketing, managing people and processes, corporate governance and how to relate to a functioning board of directors.

It also incorporates a 10-hour investment readiness programme aimed at those business owners who want to pitch investors for funding.

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