BACKGROUND ON EVERYTHING VINCY
Invest SVG is the official investment promotion agency for St. Vincent and the Grenadines operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Sustainable Development. The agency focuses on attracting foreign direct investment, facilitating investments (both foreign and local) and export development. As part of our role in export development, Invest SVG developed the ‘Everything Vincy’ campaign as a platform to showcase local businesses and to enhance their export potential. The campaign particularly aims to highlight under-exposes local businesses that may not have the finances or knowledge to dedicate to marketing and advertising. It also pushes businesses to expand their interest and focus on finding and accessing external markets. We believe that this platform has significant potential as a catalyst towards increased economic development across several sectors. These benefits can help the business sector to better leverage growing access to regional and international markets, as well as deepening linkages with our wider Vincentian diaspora.
‘Everything Vincy’ came out of an Invest SVG stakeholder meeting, and comprises three components: an exposition, innovative business development workshops and a ‘buy local’ initiative. This threefold approach will bolster awareness towards, while sharpening the focus of, Vincentian businesses that are export ready or have export potential. For 2017, we were able to execute two components of the ‘Everything Vincy’ strategy. These were: the exposition and the training workshops. The ‘Everything Vincy’ Expo (EVE) was held on October 27th – 29th 2017 and hosted more than 40 participants. The feedback from participants was very positive, and the demand for another expo was a common thread throughout all responses. There were a number of limitations identified; among them the limited capacity of the venue and how that restricted the number of businesses that could participate. To this extent, Invest SVG has moved forward to develop a plan for an enhanced product that will be able to encompass even more businesses and subsequently, business opportunities. This document provides an expanded understanding of what we have planned for ‘Everything Vincy’ Expo 2019’ and the time frame in which we aim to host it.
‘Everything Vincy’ Expo 2019 seeks to build on the successes of EVE 2017 & 2018. We aim to not only grow but fundamentally expand the scope of this Expo, with an eye towards Dubai 2020 World Expo. 2018 marked St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ first regional trade expo, with a particular focus on attracting buyers to meet and develop relationships with participating businesses. While it will be a competitive environment, we believe that it is a necessary step in allowing local businesses to understand the overarching competitive environment in which they exist.
To facilitate the development of our local businesses, Invest SVG under the Everything Vincy banner, intends to host a series of workshops throughout the year geared towards new and existing businesses. We believe that creating opportunities is not enough, businesses need to be equipped to take advantage of the opportunities that we are seeking to provide. To that end, we have developed areas of focus that are engineered to bring key issues to the fore and directly address them. Some areas that we will be working on are: entrepreneurial and business plan development, product pricing and market research and social media marketing engagement, to name a few.
Two major new components were added to ‘Everything Vincy’ Expo. These were the introduction of: (1) Invited corporate buyers and (2) limited open registration for non-Vincentian businesses. The Expo will host a total of 145 exhibitors, with a minimum of 100 local businesses and 25 regional businesses. Invitations will be accepted from OECS territories, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. There will also be consideration for trade missions from Taiwan, Venezuela and other diplomatic partners. The ‘Everything Vincy’ Expo is scheduled to run from Tuesday October 24th and Sunday October 30th, 2019; once again coinciding with SVG’s national Independence celebrations.