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May 2015

A New Grad’s Guide to Job Interviews


t’s graduation season, and for many new and soon-to-be grads, that means it’s job-hunting season, too. But if you’re new to job interviews, don’t panic. Start with this quick visual guide to everything you need to know: How to prepare, what to do (and what not to do), and what to expect during those 40 minutes (on average) you’ll spend on the hot seat.

Then, why not read up on more of our great job search advice? Check out our tips for interview etiquette, eight looks that land the job, and our all-in-one interview prep guide.

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Expression of Interest Notice: Participate in a Seminar on Angel Investor Engagement Training for Entrepreneurs


This training will sensitize, educate, and train regional entrepreneurs in global best practices methods of engaging angel investors for investment.

In its mission to increase the competitiveness of firms in the region, Caribbean Export has taken note of the inability of regional firms to consistently gain access to the right mix of financing applicable to their stages of development as being a major hindrance to them achieving success. As such Caribbean Export has embarked on activities, in conjunction with our World Bank partners, to increase access to private equity financing, specifically Angel Investment to regional firms. One such activity involves training regional entrepreneurs on how to properly and successfully engage Angel investors when seeking to raise capital for their businesses.

Formal Angel investing within the region is a new occurrence; however, informal angel investing has been taking place within the region for many years. There are three formal Angel groups in the Caribbean; two in Jamaica (First Angels Jamaica and Alpha Angels), and one in Barbados (Trident Angels) and others planned for formation in the short and medium term. There are also a number of regional High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) performing angel type activities outside the auspices of a formal angel group.

Caribbean Export will sponsor a representative from twenty (20) CARIFORUM firms to participate in this event. The aim of this initiative is to build the capacity of those selected to strategically target, engage and properly pitch to regional/international angel investors.

This EOI is targeted to, but not limited to both start-ups and established firms who are actively seeking angel capital, and also firms that are exporting or have export potential in both goods and services.

Interested persons must submit all required documentation to Caribbean Export Development Agency.

All Expressions of interest should be submitted no later than June 5th  2015 4:30 pm Barbados time, by email only and in English to Mr. Kevin Jones, Caribbean Export – Advisor; Access to Finance at emailkjones@carib-export.com.

The criteria for participating in this initiative are listed below:

Firms must submit: 

    • Indicating a willingness to provide Caribbean Export with information on your progress in seeking angel investment.
    • Demonstrating intent to use the training as a tool to target regional angel groups/ investors for funding.

Please note that the support that Caribbean Export will be providing to each of the 20 successful candidates to participate in this Business Summit is limited to:

  • Direct economy airfare for one person
  • Accommodation and daily stipend for one person (based on European Union guidelines)

The OECD defines a high-growth enterprise as a firm with an “average annualised growth in employees (or in turnover) greater than 20% a year, over a three-year period, and with ten or more employees at the beginning of the observation period.”

Expression of Interest Angel Investor Engagement Training for Entrepreneurs Final

Investor Engagement for Entrepreneurs Flyer and Agenda Final

Entrepreneur Investor Engagement EOI Application Form Final

Belize Attends the Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) Investment Conference – Key Takeaways


BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE participated in the 2015 Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) Investment Conference which took place at the J.W. Marriott Marquis in Miami, FL on April 28 – 30, 2015. HOLA is designed to provide an annual meeting place for over 400 hotel executives, investors, lenders, developers and the professional advisory community who are interested in doing deals in one of the world’s hottest hotel markets – Latin America and the Caribbean, which also includes Belize.

One of the key discussion points of course included that of Cuba as the undiscovered Tourism destination as per the recent dialogue on the U.S. dropping its embargo. Indeed, the natural authentic and untouched beauty of Cuba makes it a very attractive destination for hotel and resort developers. Other Latin America and Caribbean destinations demonstrated some concern on Cuba opening up its market and having impacts on their visitor levels; however, it is generally believed that Cuba will not, in fact, create a threat to other destinations like Belize, but rather it will induce a new demand to the region as a whole.

Another key discussion focused on opportunities in Central America where there are still many areas that have not yet been explored. Panelists and brand representatives deemed Central America as an emerging market considering that Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala hold a combined room inventory of 165,086 with 13% of those reported as 4 or 5 star hotel properties. Belize would contribute another 7,428 rooms from the 805 licensed hotels countrywide as of 2014 showcasing that Belize is also a key player in the Central American Tourism market with much room for growth in the accommodation space. (BTB, 2014)

Brand leaders emphasized that most of the opportunities in Central America revolve around the opening of select or limited service hotels due to a better profile fit and return on investment requirements. The major brands also voiced interest in continuing to develop all-inclusive projects in the region. The conference projected a keen focus on hotel occupancy in Central America since supply has been outpacing demand since mid-2012. An emphasis on this current strategy to attract demand is critical to support further hospitality development in Central America with much enthusiasm and optimism. Overall, the construction pipeline in Central America is described to be robust and healthy as experts recommend having the region focus on a strategic plan to boost occupancy.

Finally, a key area of opportunity for Belize discussed at the conference would be in the lifestyle space. The lifestyle brand is driven by the customer and moved by five key drivers under the umbrella of “authenticity” including (1) local relevance, (2) guest connectivity with the hotel, (3) excellent technology, (4) quality food and beverage with emphasis on local flavors and (5) communal or social areas. The key advantages of lifestyle brands is that they do not take the “cookie cutter” approach as many other branded hotels do and instead aim at being dynamic and trendy. The lifestyle brand concept looks at hotels being flexible towards their consumers enabling the exploration of local flavors and the opportunity to “wow” guests with an innovative product not yet present in the area.

Indeed, new hotel developments in Belize are already leaning towards the lifestyle brand niche going from a beachside boutique resort with thatched roofing such as Ramon’s Village to an eco-friendly jungle themed resort such as La Milpa or Chan Chich. Belizean hoteliers continue to lean towards low density and high value developments offering tourists a niche of localized services and amenities. There are still new areas and phenomenon of hotel development that Belize can explore applying innovative architectural and management techniques offering guests more reason to stay in beautiful Belize. BelizeINVEST, the Investment Promotion arm of BELTRAIDE, continues to work with tourism developments throughout Belize while providing on-time support to incentivizing applicable developments. For more information, contact BelizeINVEST, BELTRAIDE at investment@belizeinvest.org.bz or call +501-822-3737 / 0175

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Sources: 3 Hot Topics Presented at HOLA Investment Conference 2015 – HVS

http://www.hvs.com/article/7326/3-hot-topics-presented-at-the-hola-investment-conference/

EXPORTBelize, unveils the Belize Trade Finance Access Guide


The Belize Trade and Investment Development Service (BELTRAIDE) has as its mission the enhancement of Belize’s Prosperity by fostering investor confidence, entrepreneurship, business growth and innovation. In accomplishing this mission, all technical units are constantly engaged in activities aimed at improving the enabling environment for enterprises. Access to financing is a key component in doing business and is vital for the development of Belize’s export sector.

EXPORTBelize embarked on an exercise to determine the nature of the trade financed landscape in Belize. This entailed surveying key financial institutions and private sector contacts on the availability and accessibility of trade finance instruments.

EXPORTBelize took the findings of this exercise and produced “The Belize Trade Finance Guide”, a tool that provides the export sector with valuable information on the type of trade finance instruments and their availability at major financial institutions across Belize. The Trade Finance Guide is available to all private sector and can be found on BELTRAIDE”s website at www.belizeinvest.org.

Click below hyperlink to access the guide:

http://www.belizeinvest.org.bz/financing-sources/

Inspiring women entrepreneurs through the BA1 Project


Training commenced today, concurrently at San Pedro, Bermudian Landing and in Belize City for the BA1 Project.The BA1 Project includes an initiative to provide seed funds (small grants) to improve the lives of women who are at risk of and/or are victims of gender based violence and trafficking of women to help them improve their economic status.  The consultancy shall provide support to strengthen women’s capacities, both in employment skills and self-esteem, to support the identification and elaboration of productive business concepts for entrepreneurship, self-employment or cooperatives.

SBDCBelize and BTEC will therefore;

  1. Support the participating of women (or cooperatives/women´s groups) in development of their business, marketing and life plans with a focus on sustainability of activities beyond the consultancy period.
  2. Develop and implement methodological tools for follow up and monitoring of the life, marketing and business plans. During the contract period, continuously monitor and support the women in their personal development and implementation of their businesses.
  3. Develop a network where the women awarded seed funds can exchange experiences and give each other support.
  4. Systematize the experience:  document the process of the consultancy products and the lessons learned.

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If you would like to know more about this remarkable capacity building opportunity please feel free to contact the Women’s Department in your area.

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