Karen Carraballo

BOLD IDEAS: Karen Carraballo, from left, chief entrepreneurial development officer, Nedco, touches elbows with Calvin Maurice, CEO of Nedco; Meghnath Gosein, executive manager, corporate services at CARIRI, and Robert Nunes, programme officer at CARIRI, at yesterday’s signing of the MOU by Nedco and CARIRI to promote training and mentorship of businesspeople.

WITH job losses increasing in light of the economic impact of Covid-19, the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) has seen a steady increase in the number of people approaching them with ideas to open their own businesses.

So said executive manager of CARIRI, Meghnath Gosein, who said the constant flow of people is due to many being displaced from the labour market, as well as many university graduates without jobs.

It is against this background CARIRI signed a Memorandum of Understanding yesterday, with National Entrepreneurship Development Company Ltd (Nedco) to provide training, business advisory services, mentorship and other support services for Nedco clients and those enrolled in the CARIRI/IDB Idea Advisory Service.

Gosein said the focus is mainly on young people who have bold, innovative ideas for high value-added products.

“We haven’t waited for persons to come to CARIRI. We’ve gone across T&T where the company has spoken to 1,000 mainly young persons to talk to them about their ideas. We have visited tertiary institutions and some workplaces.”

He said even though there is a focus on young people, people of all ages have approached his organisation with ideas, even from the food industry.

“Many of them who are approaching us now because of the pandemic are going to try to do businesses that require more ICT intervention. How they deliver products of services, how they receive payment. They want to get involved in e-commerce. You’re seeing that type of businessperson. You’re seeing a lot of people in the food sector coming to us,” Gosein said.

Also speaking at the signing ceremony was chief executive officer of Nedco, Calvin Maurice, who said he believes the MOU is timely, given that many people do not have the financing to start or grow their own business.

“We anticipate that our combined resources would trigger a virtual development circle that unleashes the innate human creativeness to develop and deliver products and services demanded by the communities we serve. This process would further enhance enterprise competitiveness while simultaneously creating sustainable livelihoods and tax revenues that can be reinvested for social and economic gains,” said Maurice.

He said Nedco will continue to focus on outcomes-to ensure that its operations make a significant contribution to job and wealth creation.

“We will further ensure that the process adds value by accelerating the start-up of new businesses and helps to maximise their growth potential with less difficulty than alternative MSE support structures,” said Maurice.

Nedco and CARIRI are confident many entrepreneurs will benefit from this initiative, adding that many entrepreneurs in the current Business Acceleration Programme are ready to have their ideas nurtured to be able to tap into the local, regional and, possibly, international markets.


Members of the public will get an opportunity to voice their views and suggestions on the enhancement of Ariapita Avenue in Woodbrook as the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) will be hosting a public consultation on the issue.

The consultation is scheduled for Monday at 7.30 p.m. and will be held virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SHAKEN by the April 7 explosion at its plant on the Pointe-a-Pierre refinery complex, NiQuan Energy has postponed raising US$175 million in new debt that is meant to refinance its existing US$120 million debt facility.

AS online platforms continue to evolve for businesses, amid the Covid-19 crisis, Global Brands is taking full advantage of the technology and will be launching its platform next month.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Monday said it would virtually launch the Green Bond Transparency Platform (GBTP), an innovative digital tool that brings greater transparency to the Latin America and the Caribbean green bond market.

Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission

AS THE regulator of the securities industry, the Trinidad and Tobago Securities and Exchange Commission (TTSEC) has the responsibility to monitor the industry, understand its potential for development and encourage innovation to foster that development. This week’s article will highlight some prominent fintech products typically used in the securities market.

Call to Action: The ICC campaign to end the pandemic in the Caribbean

COVID-19 has had the effect of compounding an already challenging economic climate in Trinidad and Tobago and other countries of the region, many of which are dependent on tourism and related products. The declaration of a pandemic has almost paralysed some sectors, and even driven a number of businesses to fold. The region’s private sector therefore has a vested interest in any and all measures to lift our countries out of pandemic conditions and align with global efforts.