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HomeNewsLocal newsThree Queens Ventures Women’s Business Accelerator Program Expected to Empower Women Entrepreneurs

Three Queens Ventures Women’s Business Accelerator Program Expected to Empower Women Entrepreneurs

Top row from left, Jacquel Dawson (Bush Tea of the Virgin Islands), Lourdes Carasquillo Bezares (Kokito Boricua), and Taqiyya Shabazz (The Sweet Fairy). Bottom row from left, Sharon “Peachy” Benjamin (Peachy’s Pantry), Louise Fontaine (SEVA), and Verna Walcott (Just Drinks VI). (Picture courtesy Three Queens Ventures Women’s Business Accelerator Program)

The Three Queens Ventures Women’s Business Accelerator Program, sponsored by SEAT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, Inc., is accepting applications from women entrepreneurs for the program that offers to “support, empower, advise, and train” them help their businesses grow.

The non-profit, four-month, 10-hour-per-week program will be split into weekly seminars, consulting sessions, meetings with a mentor, etc. Affectionately named after the three queens, Mary, Agnes and Mathilda, who were renowned throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands, the women represent courageous, steadfast, and hardworking leaders.

Executive Director of SEAT Caribbean and SEAT Innovation and Entrepreneurship Jennifer Sequeira said she has always had a passion for entrepreneurship. “As an entrepreneur myself as well as my former role as an academician at a couple of universities my focus of teaching was entrepreneurship, minority entrepreneurs, and women entrepreneurs and a number of my research is focused in that area,” said Sequeira.

Sequeira, along with a group of other entrepreneurial women, realized that there are challenges for women entrepreneurs, particularly women who do not have a background in entrepreneurship. “So, there are lots of challenges for women to both start a business, but to also grow a business,” said Sequeira.

“The focus of our program is really in helping the woman to develop a mindset or have a changed mindset about their business. They have to prioritize working on the business versus just doing the daily tasks required in getting their products out to market.”

Also, participants can expect to attain skills and abilities that will help them work on the business itself to engage in learning best business practices and other things.

The accelerator program began in 2021 and this will be their fourth year. Some of the topics the participants can expect are individual consulting, individual marketing and social media assistance, financial planning, small business management training and more.

After completion, instructors expect their participants to have acquired knowledge, skills, and abilities that will help them increase their company’s profits, enabling them to potentially provide employment opportunities and contribute to the USVI’s economic development.

The application deadline is Tuesday, Jan 30. and there is no fee to apply; however, once accepted to the program, individuals will have to pay a nominal fee of $150 to participate. The fee will be returned upon completion of the program as part of seed funding.

Requirements to enroll are applicants must be a U.S. Virgin Islands resident, at least 18 years or older at the start of the program, a founder or owner of a business that is licensed in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the business has to have been in operation for a minimum of two years.  To learn more about the program and enroll, click here.

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