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Office of Business Development

Innovate! Cave Hill New Venture Challenge 2024 Training Series

A series of training opportunities has been organised to better equip you to prepare your business plan.  The sessions are optional, but highly recommended.  They are listed below.  Priority will be given to persons who have registered Expressions of Interest to enter the competition, Note that dates and times are subject to change.

  • Webinar via Zoom by Dr. Yolande Cooke
The UWI Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystem
Monday, March 11, 2024, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.   
Click here to view the presentation
Recently words like innovation, entrepreneurship and new venture have entered the mainstream of Cave Hill Campus and there is a certain level of both excitement and mystery about them.  This session aims to provide you with the reasons why these concepts are becoming popular and how you can go about getting support to develop your business idea, invention or discovery.  The session will enhance your understanding of the institutional framework that enables the pursuit of entrepreneurial activities at The UWI, Cave Hill Campus.  You will learn more about the grouping of departments and committees structured to seamlessly help you bring your idea or invention to a viable commercial position.  This session will help you to understand the process, the role of each department and committee and what you can expect at each step of the way.
Dr Yolande Cooke is Programme Officer in the Office of the Principal at UWI Cave Hill Campus where part of her role is to develop the innovation ecosystem at the Campus.  She has over 12 years of international corporate experience and just under 10 years of working in the academic space.
  • Webinar via Zoom by Ms. Sonia Johnson, MBA
Approaches to Income Generation in Higher Education
Friday, March 22, 2024, 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 noon - POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE 
Meeting ID: 973 3126 8644
Passcode: 304071
Synopsis of the Session:
This interactive session will focus on what income generation in a university context is generally and why it is critical to institutional survival.  We will examine key success factors in university entrepreneurialism, including the importance of an enterprise culture.  We will also discuss various methods of income generation employed in higher education institutions (HEIs) internationally and examine several case studies. By the end of the session, participants will be better able to:
  • Identify and manage challenges to entrepreneurialism in the HEI environment
  • Identify and assess existing businesses and potential new business opportunities both academic and non-academic, at the Cave Hill Campus, including sale of services, research grants, technology commercialisation, philanthropy, rental of facilities, and residences, catering and conferences etc.
About the presenter:
Sonia Johnson is a multi-lingual management and marketing professional who has over thirty years’ experience in international business and consulting across the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe.  She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Miami, along with several professional certificates and a First Class Honours Bachelor of Arts Degree in Caribbean and Latin American Studies from The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus where she has been Business Development Officer for the past twenty-three years. 
  • Two (2) In-Person Sessions in The UWI Shell Suite, Solutions Centre
Mr. David Smith - Network Engineer and
Mr. Clint Hurley - Manager, Network Services and Innovate! 2022 Winners
Register for these sessions at -
Thursday, May 2, 2024, from 9:30 a.m.  – 12:30 p.m. and 
Friday, May 3, 2024, from 9:30 a.m - 12:30 p.m. 

Day 1 will focus on the entrepreneurial mindset and ideation stage thinking and Day 2 will cover how to structure and communicate your business concept.  The facilitators will guide you through a process that will help you to define your business model, that is, how you intend to create, deliver, and capture value. You will learn how to graphically structure your idea using canvases.  Specifically, you will be introduced to the Value Proposition Canvas, Lean Canvas and Business Model Canvas.  You will also learn how to structure and communicate your business concept, as well as practise pitching.  These tools will be invaluable for competitors in the Innovate! Cave Hill New Venture Challenge 2024 in building out their business plan.  Staff in all categories are welcomed.  Spaces are limited and priority will be given to persons who have submitted an Expression of Interest for the competition.  

Think Like an Entrepreneur Part 1 – The Entrepreneurial Mindset and Ideation Stage Thinking 
  1. Introduction to entrepreneurial thinking 
  1. The 4 questions you need to answer 
  2. Graphically structuring your idea – using canvases 
  3. Introduction to the value proposition canvas, lean canvas and business model canvas 
Think Like an Entrepreneur Part 2 – Structuring and Communicating your Business Concept 
  1. Teams fill out the canvases starting from the 4 questions 
  1. Teams present their canvases and provide one another with feedback 
  1. Communicating your concept – positioning and pitch templates 
  1. Tailoring your pitch – the audience matters 
  1. Teams create pitches based on their canvases 
  1. Teams pitch their concepts to one another with feedback 
David’s mother was a serial entrepreneur. She created multiple businesses (many of which he worked in after school and during vacations), and they all had one thing in common. They all failed after a year or two. As a child, he never quite understood why they didn’t succeed. Later in life he became drawn to try to understand why entrepreneurs in the region struggle so badly and how he could help them.  
Clint wanted a practical outlet for his research in innovation strategy in MSMEs, inspired by hearing many of his friends lament about the difficulty of starting and growing a business in the Caribbean. This while their counterparts living overseas appear to thrive.  His motivation is removing the obstacles for ideas that, while they did not win a competition or become accepted into incubator or accelerator programmes, are still good business opportunities.  
Their shared passion to help entrepreneurs led to them entering and winning the inaugural Innovate Cave Hill Business Plan competition with VOIS, (the Virtual Open Innovation Sandbox) – a platform designed to bring entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and African regions and their diasporas together with the resources and the support that they need in order to succeed. 
  • Webinar via Zoom by Mrs. Esther Lord-Graham CCE FCCA MBA
What Investors Look For in Marketing and Finance in Your Business Plan
Friday, May 10, 2024, from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.  
Click here to view the presentation 

This seminar will help you prepare your business plan in such a way that it conveys to the lender that your business is work investing in. Topics to be covered are:
  • General overview of the business plan
  • Your financial projections
  • Your operations plan
  • Your target audience
  • Your messaging strategy
  • The executive summary.

Mrs. Esther Lord-Graham has been employed by FundAccess since 1998 and since 2017, she has held the position of General Manager and Corporate Secretary to the Board of Directors of FundAccess. Prior to her appointment as General Manager, Mrs. Lord-Graham held the position of Finance Manager. Educated at Girls Foundation School, The Barbados Community College, the University of the West Indies, the Tuck Business School- Dartmouth College and the University of East London, she holds an honours degree in Public Sector Management, a post graduate Diploma in Credit and Financial Management and an MBA in Financial Services. She is also a FCCA (a fellow of the Association of Certified Chartered Accountants), a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Barbados, an Accredited Financial Counsellor (AFC) and a Certified Credit Executive (CCE). She is a past President of the Foundation Old Scholars Associations, a Director of the Caribbean Micro Finance Association (CMFA), and a Business Continuity Management Professional. Mrs. Lord-Graham specializes in personal finance management especially debt reduction strategies and growth strategies for micro businesses.