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July 3, 2023

U.S. Consulate Advances Economic Prosperity in the Region by Supporting Islandpreneur Live in Sint Maarten

June 29 & 30: U.S. Chief of Mission to the Dutch Caribbean Margy Bond gave the keynote address at Islandpreneur Live in Sint Maarten, offering support and guidance to those with micro, small, and medium enterprises who wish to grow their businesses. Islandpreneur Live is a unique annual event designed to empower and equip entrepreneurs and innovators on the islands with the skills they need to be successful and access global markets. This year’s theme, “Digitally Friendly, Globally Accessible,” focused on teaching entrepreneurs digital tools to enhance their businesses, featuring topics such as: How to Ignite Business Growth, Go Global with Your Intellectual Property, Be Capital Ready, How to Attract Investors, and How to Use AI to Start Your Business and Boost Sales.

A key issue facing entrepreneurs is the lack of access to methods of digital payment which limits market share to local markets and hinders the ability the scale successful businesses. The U.S. Consulate partnered with Stanford University and Ife Badejo, the visionary behind Islandpreneur, to tackle this problem, focusing specifically on e-commerce and linking island businesses to the American market.  After four months of engaging deeply with stakeholders and local business owners, a team of Stanford graduates presented their solution at Islandpreneur. Although still in the demo phase of development, the team received valuable feedback from conference attendees and will continue to work with the U.S. Consulate and its partners to further development.

The U.S. Consulate believes that creating spaces, bringing people together and supporting events like Islandpreneur Live is the most effective way to bring change to the region. Only by bringing together governments, private sector leaders, entrepreneurs, and civil society, can the islands address the need to get paid online and unleash the untapped, limitless potential of entrepreneurs.

Consul General Margy Bond behind podium at Islandpreneur ConferenceA group of people sitting in a conference