CariWay, owned by Cenus Hinds, is the only Vincentian business in the running to win a total of US$25,000 and the title of Goddard Enterprises 100th Anniversary Entrepreneur Award Winner.
The 10 entrepreneurs from around the region, who have won the first leg of the competition, are collecting their cheques and trophies and meeting their mentors as they commence the first year of the competition.
Entrepreneurs from St. Vincent and Barbados were awarded on Monday, while those from Jamaica and Trinidad will receive theirs on Feb. 10.
All winners will also be introduced to the mentors who will work with them during this first segment of the competition. Each awardee will be assigned two mentors, one senior GEL manager and one financial controller or accountant either from head office or from one of the company’s subsidiaries.
These 10 businesses, on receiving their US$5,000, will commence this first year of the three-year contest.
In October 2022, the participants will submit a report when they will again be judged, and the number will be narrowed down to three.
Those three will each receive a further US$12,500 to continue to grow and expand their businesses.
Then, in 2023, the winner will be evaluated from those three finalists and given a final cash injection of US$25,000. That entity will also take away the title of Goddard Enterprises 100th Anniversary Entrepreneur Award Winner.
CariWay is billed as providing a convenient online experience booking platform for the Caribbean to enable community tourism where anyone would be able to offer tours online.
They will be fully digitising current and future tour offerings to not only offer physical (face-to-face) tour experiences within St. Vincent (and the larger Caribbean) but also offer virtual reality tours to tourists and locals alike.
“Tourism around the world, especially within the Caribbean region, has changed because of the pandemic. This change requires, in turn, a drastic change in the framework of how tours and experiences are offered,” a citation said.
“Cariway would be offering this change through a full library of virtual reality tours which can be experienced locally through them and their VR headsets, at home or through a computer or smartphone if people don’t have a compatible headset.
This will allow them to not only offer an additional product but enable travellers to virtually experience a country before they arrive or have experiences that they would not be able to have while there, because of time or physical restraints.”
The various companies entered in the competition run the gamut of enterprises namely, a producer of gluten free pasta, a service provider and virtual marketplace for tyres, an online booking platform for tours that includes virtual reality tours, a creator of virtual comic books, a mushroom farmer, a gourmet chocolatier, an electronic health records system, a manufacturer of rum punches, a manufacturer of artisanal frozen desserts and a community of Caribbean creatives looking to improve the knowledge and skills of creative people.
“We won’t be around, but it is our hope that 100 years from now, one of these companies will be in a position to celebrate their 100th anniversary like GEL has done this past year,” said Anthony Ali, CEO/MD of Goddard Enterprises Ltd.
“This is our way of giving back to the community, and provides a number of small business persons some guidance and direction so that they can better navigate the often difficult waters out there. We want to ensure that their businesses can grow and prosper, so we don’t just want to give them a cheque and leave it there. It is really about succession planning and ensuring a stronger business community going forward” he added.
The names of the 10 winning businesses are:
Family of GEL Staff