In Dominica, Boosting Local Tourism Entrepreneurs
A new initiative by Dominica’s top hotel group aims to empower local hospitality and tourism entrepreneurs.
The new GEMS Entrepreneurship Challenge will award a total of $45,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars (about $17,000 USD) to three winning entrepreneurs to help grow their businesses.
“The tourism and hospitality industry and supply chain presents a world of opportunities to business entrepreneurs,” said Gregor Nassief, Chairman and CEO of GEMS Holdings Limited, whose portfolio includes the Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort, Secret Bay, The Residences at Secret Bay, and Tibay Villas. “Hotels and resorts depend on many small businesses and service providers and the GEMS Entrepreneurship Challenge is our way of supporting the growth and success of these businesses, thereby strengthening the industry as a whole.”
The challenge is open to business “involved in supplying products and services in the tourism and hospitality industry including but not limited to: food & beverage, farming, fishing & agro-processing, wellness-related products & services, entertainment & arts, technology, tour guiding, excursion & transport services, health & safety, energy efficiency, marketing & media services, event management, among others,” according to GEMS.
Applicants will be evaluated for customer and brand equity, innovation, viability and financial management, among others.
“We have established the criteria that will be used to determine eligibility, application selection, and evaluation for the Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Challenge Fund. It takes into account the roles and responsibilities of the Grant Selection Committee (GSC), solicitation process, and financial information related to grants,” said Lizra Fabien, the GEMS Foundation’s Director of Entrepreneurship.
“We will encourage a wide variety of applicants and submissions by ensuring that the application process is open and accessible. We are open to applications from small businesses which demonstrate innovation and scalability,” Fabien said. “We appreciate that these organizations do not always have lengthy track records and we will not award grants based on organizational criteria of longevity of organization. We request, however, that any applicant abide by ethical business practices.”
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