Dubbed ‘Project X’, the initiative, as held at the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) Barbados Country Office, also provided the inaugural participating entrepreneurs with the chance to compete for microgrants based on the viability and level of community benefit their project would bring.
Allison Burnham emerged victorious after presenting ‘Plant Lyfe’, a vegan fast food concept. She captured a total of 19 out of 51 votes to win the $1500 in crowdfunding raised at the event, exclusively via an entry fee and donations made using Bitt’s mMoney payment solution. Other presentations were made by Cherry-Ann Boyce who introduced Hello Naturelle, a line of natural, herb-based skincare products; Sherri Shepherd who gave details of The Game House and Tamaisha Eytle who envisions a digital NGO community. Each presenter received complimentary consultations and artwork from Caribbean Label Crafts, while first runner up Cherry-Ann Boyce will be attending the next Innovate Barbados Conference free of charge.
“Through the monthly slated Project X, entrepreneurs and MSMEs can showcase and support local businesses and social or community projects that contribute to the development of Barbados. In particular, Project X acts as a platform to facilitate business mentorship, networking and resource sharing. As such, Bitt has proudly partnered with the BEF to execute Project X as part of its corporate social responsibility by providing financial, technological and logistical support,”
For the BEF, Project X is an opportunity for democratic micro-funding and community-building engagement through collaborative and creative action. The beauty of the initiative being that no two projects will ever be the same and attendees themselves get to decide who wins, as well as how and to what extent Project X can benefit Barbados. Bitt, on the other hand, considers it to be an avenue for greater financial inclusion, which is a significant issue preventing access to goods and services, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.”
While Bitt has committed to being the title sponsor and technology partner for Project X, future events may also be executed in strategic partnership with the Barbados Agency for Micro Enterprise Development Limited (FundAccess), Barbados Coalition of Service Industries (BCSI), Barbados Investment and Development Corporation (BIDC), Barbados Manufacturers Association (BMA), Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), Small Business Association (SBA), Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development Project of UWI (SEED), Ten Habitat and/or the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) based on a signed memorandum of understanding among them.