Sustainable Business Lab

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Supporting Social Enterprise Development in the Caribbean: Announcing the Social Enterprise Incubator Call for Applicants

The Sustainable Business Lab is a new program designed by the Barbados Youth Business Trust to support the launch of new social enterprises in Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia. Through a series of workshops, the Incubator program will guide participants in developing and validating a business plan for their enterprise concept.

  • Interactive peer learning environment
  • Business planning tools and resources
  • Workshops and subject matter experts
  • Support with launch planning
  • One-on-one coaching
  • Access to small development grants
  • Learning from experienced social entrepreneurs
The program is designed and delivered in partnership by the Youth Business Trusts in Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia with support from German impact accelerator program Impact Collective. The program team combines years of experience in social enterprise development, launch, and operations.


Business Plan Development

  • Workshop Series
  • One-on-one Coaching
  • Completed Business Plan


Launch Supports

  • Launch & Start-Up Plan
  • One-on-one Coaching
  • Connecting to Mentors & Investors

A social enterprise is an organization that uses business strategies to maximize social impact.
A social enterprise is distinguished from other types of businesses, non-profits and government agencies by the following criteria:

  • Addressing a cultural, social or environmental need is the principle goal of the organization, which serves the common good through its products and services or through offering employment to people who face barriers to mainstream employment
  • Commercial activity is a strong revenue driver, whether a significant earned income stream within a non-profit’s mixed revenue portfolio or as a for-profit enterprise;

  • The common good is its primary purpose, literally ‘baked into’ the organization’s DNA;

  • Surpluses and profits are principally reinvested into its social, cultural or environmental mandate.


A social enterprise incubator helps early-stage social enterprises move ahead by providing training, tools, and support. The immediate goal is to develop and launch successful social ventures while also building the long-term capacity of social entrepreneurs and organizations. This program is for you if:

  • You’re at an early stage of social enterprise development

  • You’re launching a social enterprise in the Caribbean

  • You’ve got a viable enterprise idea but need to flesh out your business and launch planning

  • You’re looking for support in getting your enterprise off the ground

  • You want to increase your capacity for designing social enterprise approaches to achieve your mission

  • You meet one or both of the program priorities (listed below) or have other impact-driven goals

In support of the Social Enterprise Incubator, the Youth Business Trusts will provide a dedicated pool of funds eligible participants can apply for to assist with small short-term development costs.

The Social Enterprise Incubator program has been designed to address several regional gaps in social enterprise development. These gaps are reflected in the Incubator Program Priorities and also reflect the priorities of the funders and donors making the program possible. If your enterprise concept doesn’t reflect these priorities, you’re still encouraged to apply with the understanding that preference will be given to those that do.

Youth not in employment, education or training, face specific challenges in connecting to the labour market. Social enterprise is recognized as a particularly effective strategy to help youth facing barriers to employment connect to long-term jobs and career paths.
The Social Enterprise Incubator program will give preferences to enterprise concepts that have a primary purpose of employing youth between the ages of 16 and 30 facing barriers to employment. Enterprise concepts that include but are not exclusively youth-focused will also be given preference.

The program is best suited to organizations that have identified a feasible business concept for their social enterprise and will benefit from a guided process of business planning.
Mission: can include enterprises with social, cultural or environmental goals, though priority will be given to enterprises employing youth or others facing barriers to employment.
Corporate or Ownership Structure: The program has primarily been designed for the needs of nonprofit and charitable organizations; however, non-profits, for-profits, co-operatives, and community contribution companies are all eligible.
Development Stage: The program is geared towards those at an early stage of development, who have an idea they are willing to invest in. Ideally, applicants have completed some measure of feasibility assessment and can see themselves moving to launch within 6 to 12 months. Those who have already launched but need support to refine their business plan and scale up operations are also encouraged to apply.

This is a pilot program and participants will be asked to contribute $250 towards program expenses including venue, coaching and materials.

The program can accommodate up to 5 participants.

Application Form

To Apply

Those wishing to apply should complete and submit an application by or before the Application Deadline of April 15, 2022.

Participation in the program is a significant investment of time so applications will be assessed based on fit with the program including:

  • Stage of development
  • The potential impact of enterprise
  • Strength and viability of enterprise concept
  • Need for support and capacity building
  • Level of investment in enterprise concept
  • Ability to participate in and benefit from the program
  • Alignment with 2016 priorities
Reflecting on our journey, it's clear that BYBT’s holistic support system has been a cornerstone of our success story. The dedication, expertise, and innovation they bring to the table make them an ideal ally for any developing entrepreneur. We confidently recommend BYBT to any startup looking for a steadfast partner in their entrepreneurial journey.
Andre Ifill
AI Online Inc
October 16, 2023
I am so thankful I took the time to apply for the BYBT Social EnterpriseIncubator program!The cadre of experts who work atBYBT have an immense passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed.The organisation's business mentors are diligent in providing guidance and assistance.I have been able to meet an amazing group of entrepreneurs through this program as I gained the knowledge, skills, and resources to stitch together a picture-perfect pattern that will yarn over globally.
Nikisha Toppin
Elaine's Caribbean Crochet
April 6, 2023

SBL Application Form

Organization Name*
Primary Contact Name*
Primary Contact Number*
Primary Contact Email*
Stage of Development*
Describe your social concept*
Describe your social enterprise concept. What products or services will it sell? (400 words)
What is a Social Enterprise?
In your own words, describe a Social Enterprise (200 words)
Anticipated Next Steps
What are the anticipated next steps in developing your enterprise over the next 2 years?
Social Impact
What social impact do you anticipate from your Enterprise?
SBL Expectations
What are your expectations of the Social Enterprise Incubator?
Challenges & Opportunities
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities you anticipate in starting or growing your social enterprise?