Social Enterprise 101

Supporting Social Enterprise Development in the Caribbean: Announcing the Social Enterprise Incubator Call for Applicants

The Social Enterprise Incubator is a new program designed by the Barbados Youth Business Trust to support the launch of new social enterprises in Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia. Through a series of workshops, the Incubator program will guide participants in developing and validating a business plan for their enterprise concept.

Interactive peer learning environment
Business planning tools and resources
Workshops and subject matter experts
Support with launch planning
One-on-one coaching
Access to small development grants
Learning from experienced social entrepreneurs

The program is designed and delivered in partnership by the Youth Business Trusts in Barbados, Dominica and St. Lucia with support from German impact accelerator program Impact Collective. The program team combines years of experience in social enterprise development, launch, and operations.

The program consists of two components:

Part 1: Business Plan Development
Workshop Series
One-on-one Coaching
Completed Business Plan
Part 2: Launch Supports
Launch & Start Up Plan
One-on-one Coaching
Connecting to Mentors & Investors

Check back to see the detailed curriculum posted on our website in February 2022 or email to join our mailing list.

What is a Social Enterprise?

A social enterprise is an organization that uses business strategies to maximize social impact.
A social enterprise is distinguished from other types of businesses, non-profits and government agencies by the following criteria:

Addressing a cultural, social or environmental need is the principle goal of the organization, which serves the common good through its products and services or through offering employment to people who face barriers to mainstream employment;

Commercial activity is a strong revenue driver, whether a significant earned income stream within non-profit’s mixed revenue portfolio, or as a for-profit enterprise;

The common good is its primary purpose, literally ‘baked into’ the organizations DNA;

Surpluses and profits are principally reinvested into its social, cultural or environmental mandate.

What is a Social Enterprise Incubator?

A social enterprise incubator helps early-stage social enterprises move ahead by providing training, tools, and support. The immediate goal is to develop and launch successful social ventures while also building the long-term capacity of social entrepreneurs and organizations. This program is for you if:

You’re at an early stage of social enterprise development

You’re launching a social enterprise in the Caribbean

You’ve got a viable enterprise idea but need to flesh out your business and launch planning

You’re looking for support in getting your enterprise off the ground

You want to increase capacity for designing social enterprise approaches to achieve mission

You meet one or both of the program priorities (listed below) or have other impact driven goals

Youth Development Grants

In support of the Social Enterprise Incubator, the Youth Business Trusts will provide a dedicated pool of funds eligible participants can apply for to assist with small short-term development costs.

Program Priorities

The Social Enterprise Incubator program has been designed to address several regional gaps in social enterprise development. These gaps are reflected in the Incubator Program Priorities and also reflect the priorities of the funders and donors making the program possible. If your enterprise concept doesn’t reflect these priorities, you’re still encouraged to apply with the understanding that preference will be given to those that do.

Priority: Enterprises Employing Youth

Youth not in employment, education or training, face specific challenges in connecting to the labour market. Social enterprise is recognized as a particularly effective strategy to help youth facing barriers to employment connect to long term jobs and career paths.
The Social Enterprise Incubator program will give preferences to enterprise concepts that have a primary purpose of employing youth between the ages of 16 to 30 facing barriers to employment. Enterprises concepts that include but are not exclusively youth focused will also be given preference.

Priority: Employment Social Enterprise

Social enterprises may have many types of goals and impact. Achieving the intended social purpose may have a strong influence on business model. Social enterprises that provide employment to people from marginalized backgrounds can be highly impactful but require specific considerations to be successful in balancing social and financial goals. Employment social enterprises are an underutilized approach in the Caribbean despite high potential need.
The Social Enterprise Incubator program will give preferences to enterprise concepts that have a primary purpose of employing people from marginalized backgrounds or people who face barriers to mainstream employment.


The program is best suited to organizations that have identified a feasible business concept for their social enterprise and will benefit from a guided process of business planning.
Mission: can include enterprises with social, cultural or environmental goals, though priority will be given to enterprises employing youth or others facing barriers to employment.
Corporate or Ownership Structure: The program has primarily been designed for the needs of nonprofit and charitable organizations; however, non-profits, for-profits, co-operatives, and community contribution companies are all eligible.
Development Stage: The program is geared towards those at an early stage of development, who have an idea they are willing to invest in. Ideally, applicants have completed some measure of feasibility assessment and can see themselves moving to launch within 6 to 12 months. Those who have already launched but need support to refine their business plan and scale up operations are also encouraged to apply.


This is a pilot program and participants will be asked to contribute $250 towards program expenses including venue, coaching and materials.

To Apply:

The program can accommodate up to 5 participants. Those wishing to apply should complete and submit an application by or before the Application Deadline of April 15, 2022.

Participation in the program is a significant investment of time so applications will be assessed based on fit with the program including:

Stage of development

Potential impact of enterprise

Strength and viability of enterprise concept

Need for support and capacity building

Level of investment in enterprise concept

Ability to participate in and benefit from the program

Alignment with 2016 priorities

ghostwriter hausarbeit