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For Immediate Release

Title: Branson Centre Head To Put Spotlight On Caribbean


CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. May 18, 2012: The leader of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean will reveal the attractions of the region’s market at Invest Caribbean Now, set for this June 6th at the New York Marriott Marquis in New York City.

The Invest Caribbean Now Power Forum in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s breakfast power forum will spotlight on the Caribbean as a viable investment destination. The event will boast speakers from Jonathan Blue, chairman of Blue Equity, Jay Yeo, Solamon Energy Corp, Jean Arnell, of The Chamber of Commerce for French St. Martin, an official of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Agency, and Lisa Lake,  chief entrepreneurship officer, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, and will highlight the investment opportunities in the region and its Diaspora. 

The speakers will share their views on whether the Caribbean is the next hot emerging market that investors should be eyeing and explain how the region is developing new industries to balance the reliance on tourism that has powered many of the islands economies for years.

The Caribbean region, home to some 41 million people, has great tax benefits for investors, is politically stable, has a high literate work force, is open to free trade and has an established tourism market.  

Lake will be speaking of her plans to support the economic development of the region through supporting high potential entrepreneurs through the early stages of their business development. The Centre is supported by Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, and has been developed in partnership with Virgin Holidays and Virgin Unite, the group’s not-for-profit foundation.  Branson will be honored with the first Invest Caribbean Now Leadership Award on June 6th.

“The Caribbean region is rich in entrepreneurial spirit and in opportunities to grow the economy. Tourism has sustained this region for many years. We now need to develop and add diversity to the market by investing in the skills of entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and to help them scale their businesses and employ people while to competing in a global market,”    Lake said.

The Invest Caribbean Now forum, the brainchild of Hard Beat Communications CEO, Felicia Persaud, will take place at the Marriott Marquis Times Square on June 6, 2012 from 7:30 to 10 a.m. during Caribbean Week in New York.

The June investment forum is a partnership between the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Hard Beat, a digital media company.

Cost to attend is $100 per person and registration can be done at www.investcaribbeannow.com or by email to joe@investcaribbeannow.com.

About Invest Caribbean Now 2012

The Invest Caribbean Now series aims to connect investors with entrepreneurs, chambers of commerce and ministers of governments in the hot new emerging market that is the Caribbean and its Diaspora. Its sponsors to date include One Caribbean Television, La Chambre Consulaire Interprofessionnelle de Saint-Martin, (CCISM), the PR Newswire, WSEE TV, CaribPR Wire, News Americas Now, Damoola Inc and The Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas (”ALTA”). For additional partnership opportunities log on to the sponsorship section of investcaribbeannow or call 646-820-5694.

About The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean

The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, based in Montego Bay, Jamaica, was launched by Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, using funding from lead partner Virgin Holidays, the UK’s leading long haul holiday company last September. It is a hub for aspiring entrepreneurs and aims to offer practical business skills, access to coaches to offer guidance, mentors to share their experiences and in the future plans to work with partners to develop financing opportunities to enable growth. It supports the development of small and growing businesses and job creation in the Caribbean with an emphasis on tourism related businesses with strong financial, social and environmental credentials. The first Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship was established in 2006 in Johannesburg, South Africa as a unique launch pad for bold and aspiring entrepreneurs to create successful businesses.

About Lisa Lake

Prior to joining The Branson Centre, Lake was Director of Operations for Brand Extensions at Sandals Resorts International. In this role, she had operational oversight of the Sandals Lifestyle Division and Island Routes Caribbean Adventure Tours.  Prior to joining Sandals, Lake worked with OTF Group – a consulting firm focused on issues of competitiveness in developing countries. She sits on the Economic Planning Committee of the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica.