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IDB launches business plan competition for tourism projects in the Caribbean

The Inter-American Development Bank will hold a business plan competition for Caribbean tourism projects involving low-income communities in their value chains. The contest, organized by the IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority Initiative, is open to companies based in the Bahamas, Barbados, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

Eligible business plans must include low-income communities as suppliers or distributors of goods or services, so that both companies and local residents benefit from the development of tourism ventures. Proposals will be judged on criteria such as innovations, economic, social and environmental impact on communities where projects would take place, growth potential, creditworthiness, implementation capacity and whether they could be replicated elsewhere.

Participants will be required to submit a three-page summary of their project and a one-page outline of their company before April 9, 2010. IDB specialists will review the proposals and select up to 10 entries for further development. After taking part in a workshop, contestants will perfect their business plans for a final round of presentations to be held on July 23, 2010 before a panel of independent jurors.

Winning proposals will receive up to $25,000 in consulting services from internationally recognized firms specialized in tourism development, with the goal of preparing the business plans to become eligible for financing.

Opportunities for the Majority is a special IDB initiative that promotes and finances private-sector business models designed to deliver quality products and services, create employment, and enable low-income communities to join the formal economy in Latin America and the Caribbean.