Fostering Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is a diverse group of countries, both culturally and economically. Most of them, however, face daunting development challenges, including pervasive crime, unemployment and an underdeveloped formal (private) sector. Rates of self-employment are very high in the region, ranging from 15% in Barbados to almost 45% in Dominican Republic. While these figures suggest a high level of entrepreneurial activity, most of the self-employed are involved in microenterprises, and most are entrepreneurs by necessity rather than opportunity. Nevertheless, experience elsewhere has shown that under the right conditions, business entrepreneurs can be a key driver of job creation.

This project seeks to answer the following questions: Can entrepreneurs play a significant role in promoting economic advancement in the Caribbean? And, what policies would allow Caribbean entrepreneurs to play this role? The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) will investigate the characteristics and determinants of entrepreneurship, the role of entrepreneurship in job creation, the challenges faced by entrepreneurs, and the regulatory reforms and policies needed to encourage them. The findings will be compiled in a publicly available database using the GEM methodology. They will be used to inform public policy and constitute a baseline for setting policy targets and monitoring performance.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

End Date

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


36 months

IDRC Officer

Robino, Carolina

Total funding

CA$ 864,200


North and Central America, South America, West Indies, Dominican Republic, Barbados


Employment and Growth

Project Leader

Kristie Seawright, PhD

Project Leader

Rodrigo Varela


Universidad ICESI

Institution Country


Institution Website