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Caribbean Women Entrepreneurs to Benefit from SheTrades Caribbean Hub



October 23, 2023 – The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) have partnered to create the SheTrades Caribbean Hub, a resource centre to connect Caribbean women entrepreneurs to global markets and build a stronger trade network across the region.

On 26 September, after signing the Collaborative Agreement, the ITC and CDB launched the SheTrades Caribbean Hub in Bridgetown, Barbados.  The Hub aims to boost market access for women-led businesses in the region through training and support in accessing finance and market opportunities.

In line with conclusions from ITC and CDB’s joint scoping mission to Guyana in June, during which local indigenous women entrepreneurs shared their challenges with scaling up and accessing new markets, the SheTrades Caribbean Hub will expand its service offerings to indigenous women.

The launch event included a regional symposium, where key stakeholders including Caribbean women-led businesses, representatives of regional business support organisations and private sector partners discussed strategies to tackle regional bottlenecks hindering women-led businesses from scaling up and exporting.

At the signing ceremony, Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon, President of CDB, said: “We are thrilled to embark on a partnership with ITC to implement the SheTrades Hub in the Caribbean region.  CDB will significantly invest in the initiative to further assist women-owned and women-led small businesses in our borrowing member countries. This fulfils our commitment to ensure that the region, and female entrepreneurs in particular, benefit from the ITC SheTrades initiative.”

Highlighting CDB’s dedication to inclusive economic growth and gender equality, Dr. Leon emphasized the importance of collaborating with ITC and other key partners to improve the global competitiveness and to enhance market access for women-led businesses.  He also revealed that the Bank is aiming to support over 2,000 women-led small businesses through the regional SheTrades Hub by 2025.

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, ITC Executive Director, said: “As a Jamaican, a Caribbean and woman leader who has worked across the local, regional and international trade ecosystem for decades, I am proud of what the Caribbean has so far achieved in terms of gender equality.  Through the Hub, ITC is championing more inclusive growth and empowering more women entrepreneurs to succeed in global markets.”

As the host institution, CDB will provide administrative and operational support to the Hub, collaborating with business support organisations across the region and leveraging strategic partnerships with national entities within the SheTrades network.

Participation in the SheTrades Caribbean Hub offers benefits for women-owned businesses in CDB’s 19 Borrowing Member Countries, including:

  • Global Network: Connecting women entrepreneurs to a global network of like-minded businesswomen.
  • Technical Training: Access to free certified technical training programmes.
  • Networking and Investment Opportunities: Facilitating connections and opportunities for investment and partnerships.
  • Export Support: Assisting businesses in exploring international trade and export opportunities.
  • International Exposure: Participation in international tradeshows and events.

Established in 2015, the ITC SheTrades Initiative addresses barriers faced by women in accessing markets and participating in international trade. Operating through local institutions known as Hubs, SheTrades delivers in-country interventions to support women entrepreneurs.  CDB’s USD 450,000 investment will finance technical support to operationalise the SheTrades Caribbean Hub and deliver programmes for  women entrepreneurs between 2023 and 2025.

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Bob Marley – One Love Actor Endorses Black River Film Festival



#MontegoBay, May 27, 2024 – The inaugural staging of the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), set for June 28 to 30, is being welcomed by local actor, Cornelius Orlando Grant, who sees the potential of the event in unearthing local talent and attracting investment from the international film industry.

Addressing a recent JIS Think Tank held at the agency’s Montego Bay Regional Office, Mr. Grant, who stars as gangster Bucky Marshall in the Bob Marley – One Love biopic, said the BRFF could leverage the interest and attention being generated towards Jamaica and its film industry following the premiere of the movie.

“Look at it this way, the Prince (Harry) came to the premiere and his presence attracted extra attention to [the film industry]. The Bob Marley movie is creating and breaking more records… . Just recently it opened in Japan [where]… reggae music and Bob Marley have a big fan base. Furthermore, people in the [diaspora] that I spoke to are saying that when they view the movie, it brought them vibes of home,” he noted.

Mr. Grant said that with Jamaica being positioned as the hub of the Caribbean film industry and with the increasing number of young persons emerging as content creators, “I think now is the time that we can capitalise on this. The Black River Film Festival is doing just that because it is not only incorporating new content creators but also showing students new career possibilities”.

Young content creators, 14 to 18 years old, who wish to enter or are already practitioners in the field of filmmaking will benefit from masterclass sessions during the Festival.

Mr. Grant will be among the speakers during these sessions.

The Ministry of Education, Region 5 will be partnering with the Festival producers at a workshop to be held at St. Elizabeth Technical High School (STETHS) in Santa Cruz on June 28.


Photo Caption: Jamaican actor, Cornelus Orlando Grant, gives his support to the Black River Film Festival (BRFF), while addressing a recent Think Tank at the Jamaica Information Service Montego Bay Regional Office in St. James.

Okoye Henry Photo


Contact: Sharon Earle

Release: JIS

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May 21, 2024 – The Turks and Caicos Islands have clear laws prohibiting the possession of firearms and or ammunition without a licence and strict penalties in order to serve and protect the community. Our Firearms Ordinance, which was amended in 2022, states that:

No person (other than a licensed gunsmith in the course of his trade) shall have in his possession, discharge or use any firearm or ammunition unless he is the holder of a firearm licence with respect to such firearm, or in case of ammunition he is the holder of a licence for a firearm which takes that ammunition.

Firearm and/or ammunition offences carry a mandatory minimum custodial sentence of twelve years plus a fine. Where a court finds there are exceptional circumstances, the sentencing judge has discretion, under the law, to impose a custodial sentence and a fine that are fair and just in the circumstances of each case rather than impose the mandatory minimum.

The Chief Justice is advancing sentencing guidelines in respect of the application of exceptional circumstances. Wider work is also ongoing with criminal justice partners to review the efficiency and effectiveness of case progression, in driving justice outcomes.

It is the traveller’s responsibility to ensure their baggage is free of firearms and/or ammunition. Permission from an airline carrier does not constitute permission to bring firearms or ammunition into the Turks and Caicos Islands. Travellers are also strongly advised to search their luggage before they travel to the Turks and Caicos Islands to ensure they do not bring in forbidden items inadvertently. Such offences will result in arrest.

The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory with a common law legal system, and reserves the right to enforce its laws. All persons, including visitors, must follow lawful process.

The Turks and Caicos Islands welcomes all visitors but reminds travellers that persons in the Turks and Caicos Islands do not have a constitutional right to carry firearms. Equally, the importation of firearms, ammunition (including stray bullets), and other weapons is strictly forbidden, unless licence to do so has been issued by the Commissioner of Police.

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CTO to Focus on Aviation at Caribbean Week in New York



New York (May 16, 2024) – Celebrating its 35th anniversary, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) is set to spotlight the future of Caribbean aviation during Caribbean Week in New York, scheduled for June 16-21, 2024, at the InterContinental Times Square in midtown Manhattan.

Under CTO’s annual theme “Connecting the Globe, Celebrating Diversity”, the week promises a diverse lineup of activities emphasizing innovation and connectivity.

A key feature of the premier event for travel industry professionals, journalists and members of the Caribbean Diaspora will be the Caribbean Airlift Forum.

Rosa Harris, Chairman of the CTO Board of Directors and Spokesperson for Caribbean Week, will moderate the forum. She emphasized the importance of this session as a critical platform for discussing the challenges and opportunities in Caribbean air transportation.

The session will cover topics including route development, aviation competitiveness, partnerships, infrastructure investment, regulatory frameworks, and market demand strategies. It aims to foster dialogue among airlines, airports, tourism authorities, and aviation ministries, enhancing connectivity and optimizing access to Caribbean destinations.

“In the wake of the pandemic, Caribbean aviation has shown remarkable resilience and adaptability, rebounding strongly in key areas. However, as we celebrate these gains during our Caribbean Week in New York, it’s crucial that we don’t become complacent,” stated Harris.

“We must continue to innovate and address the persistent challenges within intra-regional tourism, which, while recovering, remains a challenge for many of our destinations,” she continued. “Our focus at the Caribbean Airlift Forum is not only on celebrating our successes but also on critically analyzing our challenges to strengthen and diversify our connections to, from and across the region, ensuring a more robust and connected Caribbean.”

The week also features a Business and Tourism Marketing Symposium, the Caribbean Media Awards, and sessions focused on artificial intelligence, crisis communications, and multicultural marketing.

With the support of headline sponsor, the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Investments & Aviation; gold sponsors Cayman Islands Department of Tourism and the United States Virgin Islands Department of Tourism; and Diamonds International and the Caribbean Media Exchange, Caribbean Week in New York 2024 is poised to be a pivotal meeting for tourism professionals and stakeholders in the region and the Diaspora.

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