Twenty-one Virgin Islands entrepreneurs received certificates from the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship’s accelerator programme in late January.

The participants underwent four months of “intense” training, which concluded with a ceremony on Jan. 26 at the Eileene L. Parsons Auditorium at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College, according to a Friday press release from HLSCC.

The training was funded by Unite BVI, a Virgin Islands-based non-profit organisation backed by Sir Richard Branson and his Virgin Group.

“As part of our strategic plan at HLSCC, we pride ourselves in partnering with institutions such as the Branson Centre for Entrepreneurship and Unite BVI in the provision of training opportunities that seek to build workforce capacity and reduce unemployment in our territory,” said HLSCC Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Arlene Smith-Thompson.

Programme topics

The programme covered topics including “preparing for the pitch and developing the pitch desk;” “developing a winning business model;” “growth strategy;” “marketing, branding and customer engagement;” and others.

Lauri-Ann Ainsworth, the CEO of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Caribbean, said the programme included a week-long investment readiness boot camp, a 12-week virtual platform training, and access to mentors and coaches.

“This provided entrepreneurs with additional training to assist them in navigating the economy, expanding their knowledge, refining their pitch decks and growing their businesses,” the press release stated.

The programme centred around three core activities: training entrepreneurs to structure their businesses for growth; holding them accountable for their growth plans through a mentorship programme; and preparing them to access and efficiently manage funding.


Certificates of completion were awarded to Aneika Smith, Arona Forbes, Carlie Stanislaus, Dale Mapp, Darrell Ruan, Gabrielle Bardo, Gail Young, Hubert Lennard, Joyceln Ricketts, Kezia Allen, Kristol Penn-Hadaway, Neressa Fraser, Petrona Davies, Riiah Durante, Ruben Mingo, Sandi Boyce, Sasha Creque and Sherry-Ann James.

Shakelah Harrigan, Julie Swartz and Derick Ambrose received certificates of participation.