The MicroPitch 2022-23 Final was held with a focus on “Sustainable Businesses Positively impacting People and Planet” in the form of an integrated event between the Dominican Republic and other Caribbean countries.
Santo Domingo – The European Investment Bank (EIB), the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the Dominican Microfinance Network (REDOMIF) and the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC) held the final of the fourth season of the MicroPitch on 21 February at the UNIBE premises.
MicroPitch is a platform or business plan competition created in 2019 for entrepreneurs of all levels, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to showcase their business models in front of a jury of national and international experts and the public, combined with a series of training and mentoring to take these businesses to the next level.
In its fourth edition, the MicroPitch’s theme was “Sustainable Businesses Positively impacting People and Planet” and consisted of one integrated event for the entire Caribbean region that included two sub/regional business plan competitions, one for the Dominican Republic and one for CARICOM countries, where a total of 290 entrepreneurs participated (162 and 128, respectively). 21 out of 42 semi-finalist entrepreneurs competed in their respective final business plan competitions, where a winner for each region was chosen to compete in the Caribbean Regional Grand Final business plan competition.
The Regional Grand Final where the winners of the Dominican Republic and CARICOM contested, and a Caribbean winner was chosen, took place on 21 February 2023 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
On the other hand, a total of 580 entrepreneurs were trained as part of the Sustainability Training Series since November 2022 throughout the Caribbean region, on topics such as Circular Economy, Sustainability with a gender perspective and Entrepreneurship and sustainable business model.
This important initiative was sponsored by: UNIBE, the German Embassy Santo Domingo, PROMAR, Parley for the Oceans, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago and Belize, VISA, REDCAMIF, BANFONDESA, FONDESA, Banco Ademi, the Dominican Development Foundation, Banco BHD, Banco ADOPEM, FUNDAPEC, Una Vaina Verde, LASCO Financial Services Jamaica, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, Caribbean Development Bank and DevSolutions Consulting LLC.
On 13 February, the MicroPitch CARICOM Final took place virtually, where 14 finalists from CARICOM countries performed a 3-minute Pitch and presented their sustainable business plans in front of a jury composed of national and international experts who evaluated them and selected the following winners in their different award categories:
On 21 February, the MicroPitch Dominican Republic Final and the MicroPitch 2022-23 Caribbean Regional Grand Final were held at UNIBE in Santo Domingo. In the first stage of the event, 7 finalists from the Dominican Republic performed their Pitch and presented their business plans in front of the international jury, who selected the following winners in their different award categories:
The second stage of the event was the Caribbean Regional Grand Final of MicroPitch 2022-23, where the winner of the CARICOM MicroPitch Toni-Ann Williams, from the business Mosa Estate Ltd, who travelled especially from Jamaica to the Dominican Republic to participate in the grand finale, and the winner of the MicroPitch Dominican Republic, Sharely Acevedo Alcantara of LAB 718 SRL, competed for the “Best Caribbean Sustainable Entrepreneur” Award.
Sharely Acevedo Alcántara of LAB 718 SRL is the lucky winner of the Grand Caribbean Regional and of the “Best Caribbean Sustainable Entrepreneur” award and will get to travel to Guatemala to participate in the X Central American and Caribbean Microfinance Conference, organised by the Central American and Caribbean Microfinance Network (REDCAMIF) in March 2023. She will be able to present her business to more than 700
representatives of international investors and international organisations from Latin America, the Caribbean and around the world, network, and gain visibility with potential clients. Congratulations, Sharely!
LAB 718 SRL is a sustainable business that stands out as manufacturer of ecological and biodegradable cleaning and cosmetic products for homes, offices, hotels, clinics, and hospitals, among others, that are highly efficient and harness the power of nature at its best, creating positive environmental and social impact.
The third edition of the MicroPitch took place between October and December 2021 – for the first time in English and targeting entrepreneurs in CARICOM countries.
In an exclusively virtual format, the MicroPitch CARICOM 2021 combined the Business Plan Competition with a training series that equipped entrepreneurs with skills and tools to boost their businesses in the areas of digitalisation & e-commerce, green & sustainable business practices, as well as business management & financial planning. A hands-on training on how to successfully pitch a business completed the training series.
The training series benefitted more than 750 entrepreneurs and more than 180 entrepreneurs applied to the Business Plan Competition.
You can watch the recording of the MicroPitch CARICOM 2021 finals on YouTube.
Co-organised between the European Investment Bank and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, the MicroPitch counted with the support of several regional and national institutions, namely UNDP, the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the Caribbean Climate Innovation Center, and Fygaro e-commerce business generator, Development Finance Corporation (DFC) Belize, SOFIHDES, and LASCO Financial Services as sponsors, as well as the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility, the Caribbean Microfinance Alliance (CMFA), Grenada Development Bank, Saint Lucia Development bank (SLDB), AID Bank, the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce of Jamaica, and L’Action pour la Coopération avec la Micro Entreprise SA (ACME) as partners.
Jodie Dublin Dangleben – MicroPitch Best Entrepreneur Award & MicroPitch Social Media Award with her business Jaydees Naturals. Jaydees Naturals is Nature’s Secret to sustainable beauty, producing natural hair, skin and household products from the Nature Isle Dominica. Jodie achieved this by marrying perfectly modern cosmetic formulation with traditional, indigenous herbal remedies to formulate unique and luxurious products.
Nikisha Toppin – MicroPitch Best Female Entrepreneur Award with her business Elaine’s Caribbean Crochet – a registered social enterprise that provides Caribbean crochet artists with the knowledge, tools and resources needed to help their businesses be sustainable.
Venice Irving – MicroPitch Export Award with her business Happy Teachers. Happy Teachers offers high-quality curated language services delivered by Caribbean nationals to non-native speakers through digital platforms, including online language teaching and tutoring. The business advocates on behalf of refugees and immigrants by debunking myths and countering toxic narratives about them to their host communities.
Miguel Huertas – MicroPitch Audience’s Favourite Award with his business Apilife – a leading green enterprise who strives to safeguard and sustain honeybees, promoting the unique benefits of beekeeping, its importance, and benefits to the natural environment while providing natural, ecofriendly and healthy bee-based products for all segments of society.
Joseph Kendy Jules – MicroPitch Haiti Award with his business Haispot.com – an eCommerce platform dedicated to facilitating direct trade between U.S.-based buyers and Haitian sellers while promoting Haitian culture.
Mark Jacob – MicroPitch Belize Award with his business DML Foxtail Bamboo Straw – an Eco-friendly company that makes drinking straws out of bamboo. The straws are re-useable, durable and cut from nature.
Kavelle Hylton – MicroPitch Jamaica Award with her business STEM Builders Learning Hub – an Education Technology, Social Enterprise dedicated to STEM skills development. It seeks to advance the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) skills of teachers and students in the Caribbean by utilising the local curriculum and available resources to increase students’ interest in STEM courses and careers.
The second edition of the MicroPitch was organised in June 2021 in Dominican Republic. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this second edition took place in a full online format.
The second edition of the MicroPitch was organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Frankfurt School of Finance & Management with the sponsorship of Altice Dominicana; the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and MSMEs of Dominican Republic (MICM); the Organisation of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI) and in cooperation with Banco ADEMI, Banco ADOPEM, BANFONDESA, FONDESA, Fundación Dominicana de Desarrollo (FDD) and FUNDAPEC.
Six shortlisted finalists out of 76 candidates presented (“pitched”) the innovative solutions they have implemented in their businesses in front of a high-level jury of international and national experts. Four awards were given to inspiring and innovative entrepreneurs, who then received seed capital, hands-on mentoring and trainings targeted to their businesses’ personalised needs. The winner of the Best Entrepreneur Award was the company “La Factoría RD”, an innovative e-commerce platform for handcraft producers in Dominican Republic.
Best Businesswoman Award and public Vote Award : Lillian Fujii
Company: Corazón de Azúcar Srl
Social Networks Category: Rafael Paredes
Business: Mobiliapp Srl
The first edition of the MicroPitch took place in November 2019 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (in Spanish) and was organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in cooperation with Banco ADEMI, Banco ADOPEM, BANFONDESA, Fundación Dominicana de Desarrollo (FDD) and FUNDAPEC.
Five shortlisted candidates presented their business plans to a high-level jury composed of representative of the EIB, Frankfurt School and partner financial institutions as well as an audience. The competition had an overall winner and three winners in sub-categories namely best entrepreneur, best female entrepreneur, best young entrepreneur and the candidate with the largest outreach on social media who all obtained funds for their projects. The overall winner was the enterprise “Days for Girls” which produces washable and reusable menstrual pads and trains girls in vulnerable areas in the Dominican Republic in their use, while simultaneously following the social mission of highlighting the importance of preventing teen pregnancies and creating a positive environmental impact.
Best Young Entrepreneur Award: Melvin Sánchez.
Company: Jeffrey Tunning.
Best Female Entrepreneur Award: Laura Ureña.
Company: Dream RD.
Social Networks: Ángel Martínez.
Bussines: Peluquería D’ Cesar.