Funding the Future – Grant Trends in the Caribbean

Author: Lisa Douglas-Paul


On a fundamental level, grants function based on the understanding that ideas and projects that are guaranteed to stimulate the economy just need a serious injection 💉 of cash to get off the ground. As economies continue to grow and transition, grants, too, evolve to meet new needs. In the process of this evolution, some definite favourites and clear trends have emerged.  

Although no one likes to play favourites, the keen grant-hunter should pay attention to these trends to see how they can tap into and access funding. Why, you ask?  Well, even though brainstorming and research may seem like headaches, it’d be an even bigger headache to completely miss out on funding opportunities or to go through all the work of applying only to find investors responding like, “meh,” you know, not really too hot-up on your proposal.

For companies trying to pivot and develop new and innovative projects, staying on top of what’s hot in the funding world is crucial. 

Big Bucks for Big Tech – Over the past few decades, tech has grown at an unprecedented rate and for grant funding in a post Covid-19 world, it looks like ICT will continue to reign supreme. In recent months, joint venture funding initiatives like Born2Global and IDB Lab  and Caribbean Export, with EU support,   have benefitted Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) from the ICT sector with hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to launch their projects. Sweet!

Climate Change and Renewable Energy ♻️ – Is it hot in here or is it just us? Many donors have asked themselves this very question and are investing heavily in finding the answer. Whether it’s greener, cleaner or renewable energy, the funding opportunities for projects like these have increased significantly in the past decade in an attempt to keep pace with climate change.

Culture Matters! The great and growing potential for funding creatives is hard to ignore. Grant opportunities for film, fashion, music and mas’ 🎥 💃🏽 🎶 👹 have been popping up all over the place.  Just recently, for example, the Cultural and Creative Industries Innovation Fund CIIF  awarded about US$100,000 in grant love to creative industry practitioners. Going forward, this trend doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.

Even if your present projects don’t fall directly into any of the above boxes, that’s okay. Sometimes it pays to be a follow-fashion. LOL. 🤣

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