Posts Tagged ‘Richard Branson’

The Caribbean Is Renewable Energy Rich Says Investor

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Jay Yeo, President of Solamon Energy, addressing the 2012 Invest Caribbean Now power forum on June 6th in NYC. (Sharon Bennett image)

Jay Yeo, President of Solamon Energy, addressing the 2012 Invest Caribbean Now power forum on June 6th in NYC. (Sharon Bennett image)

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 22, 2012: The Caribbean region is rich in renewable energy and possesses tremendous capacity for solar, geothermal, tidal and wind projects.

That’s according to Jay Yeo, President of Solamon Energy, which is building the largest solar energy plant in the Caribbean region. Yeo made the observation at June 6th Invest Caribbean Now power forum, hosted in New York City by digital media company Hard Beat Communications and the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

His comments come as the latest “Climatescope,” the first annual report, index and interactive web tool which scores 26 nations on their relative ability to foster low-carbon energy growth in the region of Latin America by the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, showed Brazil, Nicaragua and Panama grabbing chunks of investment in renewable but the Caribbean region way down the list with the Dominican Republic at 15.

Yeo said investment in renewables, especially solar, will not only lower the cost of energy across the region but helps create 11 times more jobs than natural gas or coal.

“Capital intensive renewable energy is an important vehicle to increase the inflow of capital into the Caribbean and achieve economic growth, said Yeo.

Forum delegates also heard from North American investors, Jonathan Blue, who touted his positive investment experiences, in the Caribbean region; CTO Chairman and minister of St. Kitts/Nevis, Senator Ricky Skerritt; Jean Arnell, vice president of the French Saint Martin Chamber of Commerce; and Lisa Lake, Chief Entrepreneurship Officer of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean.

One of the world’s most renowned and successful entrepreneurs, Sir Richard Branson, was this year’s inaugural Leadership Award recipient.
“Let’s work together more than ever, from this day forward, to create an entrepreneurial Paradise, in Paradise,” said the Virgin Group and Branson Center of Entrepreneurship founder.

The forum was moderated by W. Dave Dowrich, V Vice President of Risk and Capital Markets in the Financial Institutions Group at Goldman Sachs.

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 included the PR Newswire, CaribPR Wire, News Americas Now and Damoola Inc.

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Caribbean Tourism Chairman Urges Investment In Region’s People

CTO Chairman and minister of tourism of St. Kitts/Nevis, Senator Ricky Skerritt, addressing the 2012 Invest Caribbean Now forum. (Sharon Bennett image)

CTO Chairman and minister of tourism of St. Kitts/Nevis, Senator Ricky Skerritt, addressing the 2012 Invest Caribbean Now forum. (Sharon Bennett image)

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. June 15, 2012: The Caribbean needs investment partners who will join hands with us for the long-term and invest in our easily trainable Caribbean people.

That’s the word from Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Minister of Tourism of St. Kitts/Nevis, Senator Ricky Skerritt. Skerritt made the call at the June 6th Invest Caribbean Now power forum, hosted in New York City by digital media company Hard Beat Communications and the CTO.

“Caribbean people are really our most valuable asset and represent a genuine and critical source of what makes our region so special,” said the CTO Chair. “I therefore submit to you that investing in Caribbean people development must be an essential portion of any major tourism investment in our region.”

Pointing to the growth in the region’s tourism sector last year, Skerritt insisted that the Caribbean’s proximity to the US makes it both a prime tourist destination and a secondary home location.

“With the public investment programs of so many of our Caribbean governments having been compromised because of recent fiscal shocks, there should now be more opportunities than ever before for private investors to get involved in financing, designing, building, and even operating, select public sector infrastructure and services projects,” he added.

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, reiterated Skerritt’s statement, insisting “that while tourism will always remain a key industry, there’s so much more to attract investment to these beautiful and vibrant islands, not least, the people.”

“Let’s work together more than ever, from this day forward, to create an entrepreneurial Paradise, in Paradise,” said the Virgin Group and Branson Center of Entrepreneurship founder.

Forum delegates also heard from North American investors, Jonathan Blue and Jay Yeo, who both touted their positive investment experiences, in the Caribbean region even as Jean Arnell, vice president of the French Saint Martin Chamber of Commerce, told the audience that the Caribbean island is open for business.

“With more than a dozen ministers of government, including a premier and a chief minister, as well as dozens of private sector attendees from investment firms in attendance, what we have proven is that the Invest Caribbean Now forum, while only in its second year, is simply THE investment event of the Caribbean,” 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.

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.”

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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North American Investors Tout Positive Experiences At Invest Caribbean Now Forum

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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Over One Dozen Caribbean Ministers Of Government For NYC Investment Forum

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Tuesday June 5, 2012: More than a dozen ministers of government, including a premier and a chief minister from the Caribbean, will gather in New York City tomorrow for the second annual Invest Caribbean Now Power Forum.

The investment breakfast, a partnership between digital media company, Hard Beat Communications and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the regional tourism arm, is set for the Marriott Marquis in Times Square New York City on June 6th from 7:30 to 10 a.m.

Among the high powered attendees of this year’s event include Dr. Daniel Orlando Smith, OBE, Premier and minister of finance and tourism of the British Virgin Islands; Chief Minister Government of Anguilla, Minister of Finance, Economic Development, Investment, Commerce & Tourism, Hubert Hughes; Minister of Business Development and Tourism of Bermuda, Wayne Furbert; Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and Minister of Tourism, & International Transport of St. Kitts/Nevis, Ricky  Skerritt; Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation of The Bahamas, Obe Wilchcombe; Minister of Tourism, Sports and Culture of St. Vincent & Grenadines, Cecil Mckie; Minister of Tourism of St. Maarten, Romeo Pantophlet; Minister of Ministry of State of Jamaica, Damion Crawford; Minister of Tourism, Heritage, Culture and Creative Industries of St. Lucia, Lorne Theophilus; Minister of Tourism of Trinidad and Tobago, Rupert Theophilus Griffith; Minister of Tourism of Haiti, Stephanie Balmir-Villedrouin;  Ministry of Tourism & Civil Aviation of Grenada, Dr. George Vincent; acting Minister of Tourism of Guyana, Irfaan Ali; Luis Gerardo Rivera Marin, current Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company and Alain Richardson, President of the Collectivity of St. Martin.
Invest Caribbean Now 2012 panellists are Jonathan S. Blue, Chairman & Managing Director, Blue Equity, LLC. and CEO of Cool Petroleum; Jay Yeo, President, Solamon Energy Corp.; Lisa Lake, Chief Development Director, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean; Jean Arnell, vice president of the French Saint Martin Chamber of Commerce and Hon. Minister of St. Kitts and CTO Chairman, Ricky Skerrit.
Organizers of Invest Caribbean Now 2012 will also honour world renowned business leader, Sir Richard Branson with the 2012 Leadership Award for his commitment to the Caribbean via the launch of his Branson Center of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean.

The forum comes as Chinese investment in the Caribbean continues to boom in this free trade emerging market economy that is politically stable and boosts 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 the economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and similar to those of East Asia.

Invest Caribbean Now 2012 sponsors are 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 and Damoola Inc.

Supplementary 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.

Registration for this event is now closed.

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Caribbean American Heritage Month To Be Celebrated In NYC With Investment Forum

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Friday June 1, 2012: Investment opportunities in the emerging market of the Caribbean region will help usher in Caribbean American Heritage Month in the United States this June as the Invest Caribbean Now Power Forum returns to the Big Apple.

The event, set for the Marriott Marquis in Times Square New York City on June 6th from 7:30 to 10 a.m., is a partnership between digital media company, Hard Beat Communications and the Caribbean Tourism Organization, the regional tourism arm.

Caribbean American Heritage Month has been celebrated in the U.S. each June since 2006.

“The Caribbean is often tagged as a fun, sea and sand destination. In Caribbean American Heritage Month, as we pause to remember the millions of Caribbean nationals who have lived in the United States since slavery and served and contributed to its heritage through finance, politics, the arts, science, education, business, sports, the military and government, it is important to focus on the strong investment potential of this region and the entrepreneurial spirit of its people,” said Felicia Persaud, convener of Invest Caribbean Now and CEO of Hard Beat.

This year’s Invest Caribbean Now panellists are Jonathan S. Blue, Chairman & Managing Director, Blue Equity, LLC. and CEO of Cool Petroleum; Jay Yeo, President, Solamon Energy Corp.; Lisa Lake, Chief Development Director, Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean; Jean Arnell, vice president of the French Saint Martin Chamber of Commerce and Hon. Minister of Tourism of St. Kitts and Chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization, Ricky Skerrit.

Invest Caribbean Now 2012, which will also honour world renowned business leader, Sir Richard Branson with the 2012 Leadership Award for his commitment to the Caribbean via the launch of his Branson Center of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean.

The forum comes as Chinese investment in the Caribbean continues to boom in this free trade emerging market economy that is politically stable and boosts 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 the economies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and similar to those of East Asia.

To book last minute seats to the event log on now to InvestCaribbeanNow.com or call 718-476-3616.

Invest Caribbean Now 2012 sponsors are 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 and Damoola Inc.

For remaining sponsorship opportunities email Joe Bernstein at joe@investcaribbeannow.com.

Supplementary 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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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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