Virgin Unite has confirmed it will launch a Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in the Caribbean in the first half of 2011.
The non-profit foundation of the Virgin Group will look to support aspiring entrepreneurs aged 18-35-years-old, in the creation and growth of small businesses in the Caribbean.
The venture will be primarily sponsored by Virgin Holidays, with contributions also being sort from businesses in the region.
The centre aims to act as a hub to support the development of small and growing businesses and create jobs in the region with an emphasis on sustainable tourism related businesses.
Managing director of Virgin Holidays, Amanda Wills, commented: “We believe every business has the potential to be a force for good.
“With this centre we are once more leading the travel industry in showing how it can do more for the communities and countries in which it operates.”
In addition to the initial funding from Virgin Holidays, Virgin Unite and the Centre’s management team are seeking the support of both individuals and organisations with an interest in nurturing the next generation of business leaders in one of the world’s most exciting tourism regions.
The Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship will be based in Montego Bay with a number of smaller satellite virtual chapters throughout the Caribbean, developed on a bespoke basis as funders come on board.
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, said: “I have always loved the Caribbean and we’ve been sending people on holiday there for many years now.
“We hope the Centre will inspire young entrepreneurs to grow their businesses and create opportunities for future generations.”
The first Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship was launched in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2006, and has seen an array of successful businesses funded, thrive and grow.
Theses range from IT, fashion designers, and a bespoke uniform supplier to small hotels to a gaming business that equips young people with computer skills, as well as providing a safe environment for them to play the latest video games.
These businesses have created jobs in their local communities and inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Interest parties can find out more by visiting Branson Centre.