10am - 3:30pm
Time zone

Caribbean Development Bank
Watch Recording

SheTrades Caribbean Hub Launch and Symposium

Sep 26, 2023

The SheTrades Caribbean Symposium will feature think tank sessions led by several thought leaders in social, economic and business disciplines.

Over four (4) sessions, discussants will dive deeply into key priority areas which must be addressed in relation to the enabling environment, socio-cultural and financial ecosystems- necessary for women led businesses in the Caribbean to grow, become more competitive and export ready. 

Under the motif GROW THEN GO, several issues surrounding scalability, financing (traditional and non-traditional means) and export-readiness will be explored in a dynamic and meaningful cross-sectoral consultation on:

  1. What do women led businesses need in order to GROW then GO?
  2. What factors impede the ability of women led businesses to GROW and to GO?
  3. What solutions would improve the ability of women led businesses to GROW and to GO?

Thematic Focus will prioritise: Market Access, Ways to Finance Businesses to Scale and bolster their capacity to Export.


Welcome Address: Ms. Jewel Forde, Communications Specialist, Caribbean Development Bank

Opening Remarks:         

  • Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre
  • Dr. Hyginus ‘Gene’ Leon, President, Caribbean Development Bank

Presentation: ITC SheTrades Video

Signing of Collaboration Agreement

Video: Faces of SheTrades Caribbean

Overview of ITC SheTrades & SheTrades Caribbean Hub: Ms. Kayanne Anderson, SheTrades Caribbean Hub Regional Coordinator, Caribbean Development Bank


Director General, OECS

Dr Jules is the Director General of the OECS and is responsible for driving the regional integration thrust towards a single economic and social space involving ten Eastern Caribbean States. He serves as a Board Director for Latin America and the Caribbean  on the Global Partnership for Education,  as well as a current member on the UNESCO Board.

Dr. Jules has had extensive regional and international experience, most of it focused on education, social policy and organizational transformation.  He served as Registrar and Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Examinations Council (2008-2014) leading a thorough modernization of the Council.  He has also served as Vice President Human Resources Cable and Wireless St, Lucia (2005-2008); Permanent Secretary for Education & Human Resource Development St. Lucia (1997-2008) as well as Permanent Secretary for Education and Chief Education Officer in revolutionary Grenada from 1981-1983.

He has provided consultancy services to national governments, regional and international organization.  He chaired the World Bank’s Vision 2020 Committee on Education in the Caribbean and has served on many private sector, educational, and philanthropic boards.  He holds a BA (hons) from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill, an MSc in Curriculum & Instruction and a PhD in Educational Policy and Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a MBA from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill.

SME Relationship Specialist, JMMB

Mr Kevin Foreman is a career banker with over 20 years’ continuous experience in the profession.   He’s been employed to JMMB Bank (Jamaica) Limited since May 2013 and currently holds the position of Country-SME Relationship Specialist.  In this role, his primary responsibilities include leading the execution of Country specific SME strategic initiatives, ensuring exceptional client experience, providing technical expertise to internal SME Partners, ensuring financial targets are met whilst adhering to all operational and compliance policies, and coaching and development of SME Relationship Managers.

Prior to his current role, Kevin was a Retail Credit Risk Manager responsible for adjudicating on Retail and SME credit applications.   As a Retail Credit Risk Manager he balanced the growth of the Bank’s loan portfolio whilst maintaining a quality loan book by reducing undue risks to the Bank.  This was done by identifying weaknesses in credit requests and where possible, implement mitigating measures.

He has held several roles at varying levels throughout his banking career across sales, client care, operations, and adjudication. 

Director, Okoye

Ms. Kim Butcher is the visionary founder and creative director behind Okoye by Kim, a vibrant Barbadian Lifestyle brand that's all about celebrating authenticity, empowerment, and the beauty of individuality. Her journey is a testament to the power of representation, authenticity, setting boundaries, operational excellence, and the unwavering commitment to a profound "why." Celebrating Authenticity and Representation Kim's journey began with a deep appreciation for representation. As a young girl, she watched in awe as then Governor General Dame Nita Barrow graced her television screen. Dame Barrow's commanding presence and achievements left an indelible impression on Kim's heart, igniting a spark within her. The lesson was clear: representation matters. Seeing someone who looked like her break glass ceilings and achieve greatness instilled in Kim the belief that she could do the same.

Senior Corporate Manager, JMMB Group Ltd

Shani Duncan Falconer is a dynamic entrepreneur, mentor, lecturer, and business development expert spanning various industries. As Senior Corporate Manager at JMMB Group Ltd, Shani orchestrated strategic initiatives, launching the Caribbean's first SME Resource Centre. She pioneered the JMMB Accelerator Programme for SMEs and created the PowHERful Women in Business Programme, addressing gender challenges. Her versatile mentorship roles range from Development Bank- Ignite Programme and MIEP, UWI-MECC programs to the Women's Centre of Jamaica and PSOJ’s Access to Finance and facilitation panel driving social change. Part-time Entrepreneurship lecturer at the University of Technology, Shani's passion for education is evident. As founder of STF Consulting, her strategic acumen aided the build out of JMMB SME Resource Center and numerous solar projects at their various branches. With an MBA from ESADE Business School, Undergraduate degree from University of Maryland, Six Sigma, Solar Business & Technical Sales, Event Management and CFI certifications, and a commitment to empowerment, Shani is reshaping business and entrepreneurship, leaving an indelible mark.

Private Sector Lead Specialist at the Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation Division of the Inter-American Development Bank & Compete Caribbean Executive Director

Dr. Sylvia Dohnert is a Private Sector Lead Specialist at the Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation Division of the Inter-American Development Bank, and Compete Caribbean Executive Director since November 2012. The Compete Caribbean Partnership Facility (CCPF) is a multi-donor facility of US$32.5 million whose objective is to support the Caribbean region in increasing productivity and Caribbean firms’ contribution to economic growth by supporting business climate reforms, cluster initiatives, and technology adoption and innovation in the private sector. The CCPF, jointly financed by the Inter-American Development Bank, the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office, the Caribbean Development Bank and the Government of Canada, currently supports over 50 projects in 13 beneficiary countries.

Prior to her work in the Caribbean, Sylvia created and led an economic development agency in the third largest municipality in Venezuela, impacting thousands of lives. Sylvia has worked as a researcher and private sector development consultant in different countries in Latin America. She has done extensive research on industrial policy and is an editor of the monograph: “Exploring firm-level productivity and innovation in developing countries: The perspective of Caribbean Small States”.

Dr. Dohnert holds a Ph.D. in Economic Development and Regional Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Executive Director, Caribbean Export Development Agency

Mr. Deodat Maharaj is the Executive Director, Caribbean Export Development Agency. He has extensive experience in international trade, working with the private sector, governments, and multi-lateral institutions in a career spanning more than 25 years. He knows the Region well, having lived and worked in Barbados, Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago; served with the Caribbean Development Bank; and has consistently championed the development agenda of the Region in his various roles. He previously served as Deputy Secretary General of the 54-nation Commonwealth where he led its work in economic and social development. He spearheaded the trade and investment agenda for the Commonwealth across its developing country membership in the Caribbean, Pacific, Africa, and Asia. Mr. Maharaj understands the vital role of the private sector as a key driver and partner in development and in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) achievement in partnership with government. He also recognises the importance of creating an enabling environment for business to succeed and the imperative of attracting foreign direct investment in regions such as ours. A graduate of the University of the West Indies, Mr. Maharaj’s academic qualifications include a BSc; Government; Postgraduate Diploma, International Relations; MSc., International Affairs; Bachelor of Laws; and Postgraduate Legal Practice Certificate

Co-founder and Director, Megapower Ltd

Jo Edghill is a Co-founder and Director at Megapower Ltd. (www.megapower365.com). Jo lived overseas for 10 years working on a range of rural development initiatives in Asia and the South Pacific, including a European Union funded democratic governance project in Papua New Guinea, before returning to Barbados in October 2011.

Jo recognised a distinct market opportunity, for electrified transport, powered by renewables, and co-founded Megapower in February 2013. Megapower’s vision is to promote the uptake of electric vehicles powered by renewable sources.

 Megapower is now seen as the Caribbean’s leading Electric Vehicle Specialist Garage.

Jo holds a Bachelor of Arts in Finance, Accounting and Management and a Master of Arts in International Development from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom.

Ambassador Gail M. Mathurin recently retired as Director General of the Office of Trade Negotiations (OTN) in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, a post she held between September 2009 and December 2021. She was also a member of the Executive Management team of the Secretariat.

The OTN is responsible for assisting Member States in co-ordinating and managing CARICOM’s external bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations and implementing existing trade agreements with third countries as well as those under the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Prior to her appointment at the CARICOM Secretariat, Ambassador Mathurin was Permanent Secretary, and Head of the Foreign Service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica.

Ambassador Mathurin was educated at the University of the West Indies and in subsequent years attended Hemispheric Trade Issues and Trade Policy courses at Georgetown University in Washington D.C.

Ambassador Mathurin joined the Jamaican Foreign Service in 1979 and during her career, undertook several key diplomatic assignments. Her work on trade issues both nationally and regionally has focused on ways in which trade agreements can assist small economies such as those in CARICOM, in maximising opportunities to improve their external trade performance. At a broader level, she has worked on economic and development issues relevant to CARICOM and other developing countries.

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