Posts Tagged ‘Lisa Lake’

North American Investors Tout Positive Experiences At Invest Caribbean Now Forum

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Ministers of Govts With Hard Beat CEO FeliciaPersaud, r, and Panelist LisaLake at l. (Sharon Bennett image)

Ministers of Govts With Hard Beat CEO FeliciaPersaud, r, and Panelist LisaLake at l. (Sharon Bennett image)

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. June 7, 2012: North American investors, Jonathan Blue and Jay Yeo, are touting their positive investment experiences, in the Caribbean region.

At the Invest Caribbean Now forum on June 6th in New York City, both institutional investors shared their experiences with over 150 delegates including over a dozen Caribbean ministers of government.

Blue, chair of Blue Equity LLC, spoke of his multi-million dollar investments in Jamaica and expressed extreme satisfaction with the country and its business environment.

He referenced seamless transitions among three governments since Blue Equity has invested in Jamaica.

“Blue Equity is continuing to evaluate opportunities in the Caribbean and is committed to inspire other investment firms to follow their lead,” Blue said.
Jay Yeo, President of the Canadian-based Solamon Energy, spoke of his firm’s work in the Caribbean and said governments should be focusing on renewables, especially solar, to solve its high energy cost.

“Capital intensive renewable energy is an important vehicle to increase the inflow of capital into the Caribbean and achieve economic growth,” said Yeo, adding that jobs could be increased 11 times more than in companies where energy comes from coal or natural gas. 

Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Minister of Tourism of St. Kitts/Nevis, Ricky Skerritt, opened the panel and said the Caribbean may not be a fully fledged BRIC group yet, but the message from Invest Caribbean Now is, that it’s on its way.

Jean Arnell, vice president of the French Saint Martin Chamber of Commerce, told the audience that the Caribbean island is open for business and over the next five years is looking to create a “Free Zone” of office and warehouse, an island wide broadband open access network and expand its road, water and sewage networks and the Grand Case Airport for regional traffic.

St. Martin was represented by a delegation of five including President of the Collectivity, Alain Richardson. In addition, there were several ministers of tourism present including Chief Minister Government of Anguilla, Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Investment, Commerce & Tourism, Hubert Hughes; and the Premier of the British Virgin Islands, Dr. Daniel Orlando Smith. 

Lisa Lake, Chief Development Director, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, who wrapped up the panel, insisted that the ultimate goal of the center was to help young entrepreneurs grow and create employment for others.

One of the world’s most renowned and successful entrepreneurs, Sir Richard Branson, was this year’s inaugural Leadership Award recipient. Branson, in his acceptance remarks, said he is now directing a lot of his interest and his funds in entrepreneurial enterprises in the Caribbean through his Branson Center of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean and reiterated his commitment to young entrepreneurs and the region.

“The Caribbean may still be best known for its sun and its beaches, but we are proving that there is so much more to this region,” said Felicia Persaud, CEO of Hard Beat Communications and convener of Invest Caribbean Now, in summing up the conclusion of the June 6th sold out power forum, held in collaboration with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, as part of Caribbean Week in New York. “What has to happen now is for government ministers to take their jobs of doing business with the private sector seriously.”

The forum was moderated by W. Dave Dowrich, V Vice President of Risk and Capital Markets in the Financial Institutions Group at Goldman Sachs, who observed that “too long the Caribbean has been simply known as a playground and great for partying but when it comes to the serious business of investment – not so much so.”

“We hope to begin through this forum to change that image somewhat – yes the Caribbean is great to vacation, but it’s also a hot emerging market that should not be ignored and should be considered for some of your wallet share,” said Dowrich.

Other private sector delegates included CEO of Spackman Capital, Martin Mohabeer; Lugano Group’s Harold Doley, III, Dean Chang of CIBC Markets; Laura Perez of Merrill Lynch; Kathleen Mulhern of the Coleman Alliance and Brian Lilly, founder of One Caribbean Television.

See Branson’s full acceptance speech at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VjaVFuVT94 and our video news report from One Caribbean Television.

The presentations from the four speakers are at http://investcaribbean.wordpress.com/2012-speakers/ and a list of attendees can be found at http://investcaribbean.wordpress.com/who-should-attend/.
Photos from the event are at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/committeetocelebrateguyana/

Fans can also bid on two auction items  -  a trip for two to Jamaica or Grenada – online at http://www.32auctions.com/organizations/3984/auctions/4426

The Invest Caribbean Now 2012 forum was funded in part by The French Saint Martin Chamber of Commerce, (CCISM), One Caribbean Television and Teamsters Local 237, a union of 24,000 New York City employees who work in government agencies and several municipalities on Long Island, while supporting sponsors include the PR Newswire, CaribPR Wire, News Americas Now, the Museum of American Finance, ALTA and Damoola Inc.

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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.

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Countdown Begins To Invest Caribbean Now 2012

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, May 4, 2012: The momentum is building to the most talked about Caribbean investment forum that brings together ministers of government with investors in New York City, the investment capital of the world.

Invest Caribbean Now 2012, which will honour world renowned business leader, Sir Richard Branson, is now just 33 days away and tickets are in going fast for the June 6, 2012 emerging market meeting, set for 7:30 to 10 a.m. at the Marquis Ballroom of the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, organizers say.

The power forum, a partnership between the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the regional tourism arm and digital media company, Hard Beat Communications, will see panellists addressing the question: “Is The Caribbean, The Next China, India Or Brazil?”

Invest Caribbean Now comes as Chinese investment in the Caribbean continues to boom in this free trade region that is politically stable and boosts attractive tax incentives, a highly literate work force and an established tourism market, and which the International Monetary Fund and World Bank forecast will see a 3.5 percent growth into 2013, higher than those of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and similar to those of East Asia.

“If you are  a private equity investor, investment banker, financier, real estate developer, hotel chain executive, lawyers, architect or entrepreneur, looking to grow your money and do business in an emerging market that is on the up and up, then this is a can’t miss event,” said Felicia Persaud, co-convener of Invest Caribbean Now and CEO of Hard Beat. “To book last minute seats to the event log on now to InvestCaribbeanNow.com.”

Panellists for the annual power forum this June include feature Chairman of Blue Equity, Jonathan Blue; President and co-founder of Solamon Energy Corp, Jay Yeo and Lisa Lake, the chief development director of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean; Hon. Ricky Skerritt, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Minister of Tourism & International Transport of St. Kitts & Nevis and an official of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration.

Blue, who already invests in the Caribbean, commented: “Our initial entry in the Caribbean market has led us to more progressive and larger scale opportunities in which we are investing or are continuing to evaluate.  We look forward to expanding our Caribbean presence in the very near future.”

“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 added.

The forum will also include an interactive question and answer segment as well as a one hour match making/networking session to allow for attendees to do business.

For exhibitor and additional sponsorship opportunities email Joe Bernstein at joe@investcaribbeannow.com.

Invest Caribbean Now 2012 sponsors include La Chambre Consulaire Interprofessionnelle de Saint-Martin, (CCISM) and One Caribbean Television while supporting sponsors are the PR Newswire, WSEE TV, CaribPR Wire, News Americas Now, Damoola Inc., The Museum of American Finance and The Affiliated Lawyers of the Americas.

Additional information on the event can be found at InvestCaribbeanNow.com, the event’s pages on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Invest-Caribbean/100002110419705 and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/InvestingCarib. When tweeting about this event, use #InvestCarib.

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