Roseau, Dominica, February 16, 2023 —  The GEMS Entrepreneurship Challenge launched by the GEMS Foundation, to empower local entrepreneurs to strengthen and grow their businesses within the hospitality and tourism supply chain has extended the application deadline to March 8th. The winning entrepreneur will be awarded $20,000 EC to invest in, and grow their business. The second and third place winners will be awarded $15,000 and $10,000 EC, respectively.  

In an effort to allow for increased participation in this Challenge, the GEMS Foundation has decided to extend the application period. This decision encourages increased participation among business entrepreneurs involved in supplying products and services in the tourism and hospitality industry including but not limited to: food & beverage, farming, fishing & agro-processing, wellness-related products & services, entertainment & arts, technology, tour guiding, excursion & transport services, health & safety, energy efficiency, marketing & media services, event management, among others.  Applicants will be evaluated for customer/brand equity, innovation, viability, organisational capability and financial management.

Lizra Fabien, the Foundation’s Director of Entrepreneurship shared: “The GEMS Foundation is committed to ensuring quality in this evaluation and selection process of entrepreneurs who will benefit from this Challenge. We have considered the needs of our local entrepreneurs for additional time to ensure quality submissions based on the criteria established. 

Fabien further added, “We reiterate that we are open to applications from small businesses which demonstrate innovation, scalability and ethical business practices. We understand that access to finance is one of the greatest challenges of entrepreneurs, as such, this Challenge presents an exceptional opportunity to access grant financing for investment in our businesses. 

For further information on eligibility requirements, evaluation criteria and the application form, please see the GEMS Entrepreneurship Challenge Guidelines here.  All suitable and interested entrepreneurs are required to submit applications by March 8, 2023 to [email protected]. A shortlist of seven applicants will be notified on April 17, 2023. They will go on to participate in a live pitching event on May 4, 2023 with winners subsequently announced. 

The GEMS Foundation expresses gratitude to key donors, judges, and the Dominica Association of Industry and Commerce for support in the execution of this Entrepreneurship Challenge. 

About the GEMS Foundation and GEMS Holdings Limited

The GEMS Foundation is part of GEMS Holdings Ltd. GEMS is an impact-driven Caribbean-based company dedicated to owning, managing, and developing world-class, sustainable luxury properties and businesses in the hospitality and tourism markets. The GEMS portfolio includes Fort Young Hotel & Dive Resort, Secret Bay, The Residences at Secret Bay, and Tibay Villas.

Contact: GEMS Foundation | Lizra Fabien, Director of Entrepreneurship Email: [email protected]