Barbados, Thursday May 16, 2019 – Caribbean fashion and
contemporary designers are getting a boost to help them penetrate the
international market, through an accelerator programme jointly funded by the
Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export) in cooperation with the
European Union and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB). The Bank’s funding is
through its Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF).
Starting on May 6, 20 designers from across the region began
participating in an intensive boot camp-style workshop led by Sandra Carr, one
of the pioneers of the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design at the
University of Trinidad and Tobago.
The participants will work with an expert team to refine
their products for the export market, and they will go through a process of
identifying where best to place their products; and how to develop their
brand. They will also learn how to
leverage social media platforms to reach their target audience and develop a go
to market strategy. The programme runs until tomorrow.
“We received 70 applications to participate in this
programme, which has been devised specifically to get the designers to a
certain point where they can capitalise further on future aspects of the
programme such as the grants from CDB and participation at the Caribbean
Fashion Showroom,” said Allyson Francis, Services Specialist at Caribbean
Caribbean Export and CDB through its Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund (CIIF), are collaborating to enable a larger cadre of professionals within the Creative Industries to access critical resources. Caribbean Export has gained resources from the European Union as part of the 11th EDF Regional Private Sector Development Programme (RPSDP). The Agency’s collaboration with CDB has enabled the pooling of resources to provide added support to the region’s fashion industry.
After completing the workshop, participating designers from
CDB member countries will become eligible to apply for a CIIF Improving the
Competitiveness of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) grant and also
gain access to Caribbean Export’s market integration platform the Caribbean
“We are extremely pleased with the response by our Borrowing
Member Countries (BMCs) to the opportunity being provided through this fashion
accelerator, and we are delighted that the beneficiaries of the programme come
from 13 of CDB’s 19 BMCs. It is an excellent opportunity for designers to
network, share experiences and learn from each other,” said Lisa Harding, MSME
Coordinator at CDB.
“Over the 10 days, designers have benefited from the tutelage of more than five influencers and experts in the fashion industry. This capacity building intervention is a key component of CIIF, which seeks to improve the competitiveness of creative industries practitioners in the region.”