Left of photo -Mr Qahir Dhanani, World Bank EPIC team, High Commissioner Garvin Nicholas and Ms. Mina Lee, member of the EPIC team.

London - May 9th, 2013: His Excellency Garvin Nicholas, High Commissioner for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in the United Kingdom convened a Professionals’ Networking Meeting at the London Mission yesterday evening. In attendance were professionals from the Trinidad and Tobago Diaspora and specially invited members of the team from the World Bank Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC).

His Excellency advised that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, like all governments, wishes to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with its Diaspora, deepening historical ties through the use of Cultural Diplomacy and facilitating knowledge transfers, increase in remittances and investment in all sectors.

He further stressed the importance of a strong Diaspora as a voice of influence in promoting best practice for the country of origin and as an effective lobbying body, within the host country, on matters that affect both the Diaspora and the country of origin.

High Commissioner Nicholas reminded nationals that the primary purpose of these networking meetings is to create a platform for Trinidad and Tobago professionals to solidify their connections with the Diasporic Community and their country of origin and to promote reciprocal advancement.

He reiterated the High Commission’s commitment to supporting and facilitating the Diaspora in building an effective and vibrant network towards the achievement of professional and philanthropic goals.

The High Commissioner then invited the World Bank EPIC team, led by Mr Qahir Dhanani, to provide details on the Entrepreneurship Programme for Innovation in the Caribbean which aims to foster the creation and growth of competitive start-ups in the Caribbean. He explained the three components of the programme: an incubator, to create investable start-ups & support expansion of support services for entrepreneurs; a component to train and upgrade skills and facilitate access to resources in business ecosystem; and the final component to facilitate financing for start-ups with a co-investment seed fund. Mr Dhanani advised that the Diaspora could become involved either as Angel Investors or Entrepreneurs.

This initiative has the capacity to foster entrepreneurship whilst facilitating successful members of the Diaspora to invest in the future development of the economy of Trinidad and Tobago.