DIA LAB TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO GRADUATES FIRST COHORT
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – October. The DIA Lab in Trinidad and Tobago celebrated its first graduation ceremony, in which 46 young Trinbagonians were recognized for completing the DIA training program, focused on digital and entrepreneurial courses. This innovation lab is developed by The Trust for the Americas, through its Democratizing Innovation in the Americas (DIA) Program, with the financial support of Citi Foundation, and implemented by The Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI).
This virtual event (link) was attended by The Honorable Foster Cummings, Minister of Youth Development and National Services, Trinidad and Tobago; Mrs. Linda Eddleman, CEO of The Trust for the Americas; Mr. Rodrigo Iriani, Senior Program Manager DIA at The Trust for the Americas; Mr. Quimey del Rio, Senior Program Officer DIA at The Trust for the Americas, Mr. Meghnath Gosein, Executive Manager - Corporate Services at CARIRI; Ms. Lynette Akong, Senior ICT Business Coordinator at CARIRI, and Mr. Hayden Charles, Program Leader, ICT at CARIRI, who served as master of ceremony.
According to the Inter-American Development Bank, approximately one in five youth, between the ages of 15 to 24 in the Caribbean, are not in school nor part of the workforce. The DIA Lab in Trinidad and Tobago, launched in June 2021, is promoting empowerment and innovation by providing participants with training sessions, designed to inspire the development of creative projects with the potential to become economic ventures.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Youth Development and National Services Minister, The Honorable Foster Cummings, stated: “It is often said that the sustainability of an economy lies within the grasp of a nation’s youth. It can be attested that the dedication and hard work of the people celebrated today, coupled with the guidance of the lab staff and facilitators from CARIRI, is undeniably a remedy for success. This Innovation Lab advances the youth agenda in our country, and it motivates us at the Ministry to work even harder to create and seek opportunities that benefit all youth, no matter the age, race, or social background.”
The DIA Lab specialized curricula aim to benefit participants with skills in:
New and emerging Technologies
Business Model Canvas
Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Life Skills & Coaching
Mrs. Linda Eddleman, CEO of The Trust for the Americas added: “The gained skills will allow participants to unlock their creativity and identify their business idea, no matter the field. With this new knowledge, they will be able to give back to the community and make a difference in the life of its people. And that’s what we’re celebrating today, their effort and commitment, and the promise of the important things they will do for themselves and their country.”
For The Trust of the Americas, this group of graduates is a very special one, since it’s not only the first cohort of DIA Lab beneficiaries from Trinidad and Tobago, but also the first people positively impacted by the organization in this country. Amongst them, we can find Joshua Jackson, who shared that: “The key to truly creating something spectacular lies in channeling your creativity. Through this program, I’ve become emboldened to take that leap outside the box and leave limitations behind. You must know the basics before you can build, and this is where the amazing team at CARIRI plays a part in my journey. CARIRI has given me the tools necessary to start solving problems and producing a profit.”
In its first year, the DIA Innovation Lab in Trinidad and Tobago seeks to train and empower at least 200 young innovators/entrepreneurs and grant USD 15,000.00 in seed-funding to support disruptive projects through Pitch Tanks and Hackathons.
The Democratizing the Innovation in the Americas initiative has been active since 2016 and, thanks to the partnership with the Citi Foundation, it will continue to expand the DIA Labs network in the Caribbean with operations in the Dominican Republic.
About The Trust for the Americas:
The Trust for the Americas is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). It was established in 1997 to promote public and private sector participation in social and economic development projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Our initiatives, implemented through local partner organizations, seek to improve access to economic opportunities as well as to foster innovation in vulnerable communities in the hemisphere. To this end, The Trust also promotes social inclusion and good governance. The Trust has offices in Washington, D.C., Colombia, and Canada.
More information: www.trustfortheamericas.org