CASTRIES, St. Lucia, March 10th 2016 – At least twenty female entrepreneurs will receive training in Digital Marketing under the Saint Lucian Women & Girls in ICT Campaign, which is a joint initiative of the Saint Lucia Coalition of Services & Industry (SLCSI) in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP). The Women & Girls in ICT Campaign was developed as a means to dismantle barriers preventing equal opportunities for growth and development in ICT. The campaign will result in young girls and women receiving specific support and opportunities to be educated and engaged in ICT tools. The outcome of which is greater empowerment in ICT processes and tools, and the ability to pass on these skills and knowledge to a wider sector of our community.
Entrepreneurs at the training workshop will learn how to boost their ability to engage with customers through social media, increase sales and revenue through their enhanced ability to market their products and services. Digital Marketing involves the promotion of products or services via one or more forms of electronic media and has become one of the most impactful marketing tools for entrepreneurs. Direct Marketing allows entrepreneurs to not only reach a large number of their target audience efficiently but also cost effectively.
The SLCSI and CARCIP collaboration to implement the Women and Girls in ICT programme is made possible because of the complementarity between the CARCIP Project and the SLCSI’s Development of Saint Lucia’s Services Sector Project now underway. SLCSI, with its mandate to organize and create pathways to business competitiveness for service producers, seeks to improve the operating environment for that sector. One component of the SLCSI project focusses on deepening gender equity and increasing access by women and girls to employment and entrepreneurial opportunities in the ICT industry.
According to SLCSI Executive Director Yvonne Agard, training is an early component of the Women and Girls in ICT campaign, the official launch of which is deliberately set for April, the month dedicated to the international observance of Girls in ICT.
“ Two major highlights of the campaign will be an exhibition featuring the beneficiaries of the training and their work, and small grant initiative towards assisting female entrepreneurs to procure ICT tools to boost their business efficiency and ultimately, generate more sales.”
Another training workshop in Digital Marketing is scheduled to be held in Soufriere at the beginning of April. Other sessions scheduled for April include a workshop on Grant application, another on Effective PowerPoint Presentations and a Women in ICT Conference.
The development objective of the Caribbean Regional Communications Infrastructure Program (CARCIP) is to increase access to regional broadband networks and to advance the development of an ICT-enabled services industry in the Caribbean Region. CARCIP is being implemented by the Ministry of Public Service. Component 2 namely, ICT Led Innovation focuses on St. Lucia’s strategy to position itself as a formidable destination for IT and IT-Enabled Services (ITES) through the provision of a Business Incubator Grant to SME(s) for technology based business development projects and a Training Grant for human capacity building and skills certification of which fifty (50 %) of the direct project beneficiaries should be women. It is expected that this component will have impact at the micro-level in i) increased revenue from IT/ITES industry; (ii) job creation; (iii) improved skills; and (iv) increased productivity and competitiveness.
About the Development of Saint Lucia’s Services Sector Project
The SLCSI has received a grant from the Caribbean aid for Trade and Regional Integration Trust Fund (CARTFund), to be used to improve the operating environment for the services sector, via the Development of Saint Lucia’s Services Sector Project. Included in the project is a component aimed at facilitating greater gender equity and increasing the opportunities for women to increase access to employment opportunities and entrepreneurial opportunities in the ICT industry. Through this Campaign, SLCSI is seeking to complement the objectives of CARCIP, through a collaboration to implement an SLCSI/CARCIP Saint Lucian Girls and Women in ICT Campaign.