The need for Caribbean diaspora collaboration and cooperation including home countries is not a new phenomenon for Meegan Scott and Magate Wildhorse Ltd.
It is the reason I deliberately designed a Caribbean Evaluators International, a VOPE for Caribbean Evaluators at home and in the diaspora.
Facilitating research, cross-fertilization, cooperation, and co-creation was integral in the design. Speaking the languages of the region was essential.
Below is the message used to launch the VOPE and the Jamaica, Chapter.
Another initiative led from the Canadian arm of the Jamaican and Caribbean diaspora.
History is important.
Before Caribbean Evaluators International and The Community of Practice for Caribbean Immigrant Entrepreneurs was the private Facebook Group, Sagacity North-Mart.
That forerunner to The CoP was created in April 2011. At that time I had not lived a year in Canada; but the need was crystal clear.
Sagacity North-Mart on Facebook
“Sagacity North-Mart is an exchange and meeting forum for businesses, practitioners and academic minds involved in, or looking to participate in the CARICOM – North America international trade arena.
It was created by Meegan Scott, for bringing together small and medium sized entities; business and trade support agencies and associations; academia; media; buyers, market access and sales support professionals in Canada, the Caribbean and the United States of America for sharing viewpoints, insights and tips as well as for growing new partnerships for making trade easier among partners in those markets.
Sagacity North-Mart aims to be that well of wisdom from which practical answers to questions relating to finding contacts, suppliers, buyers, growing sales, entering the market, packaging, finding financing, logistics, quality, pricing, pit falls and how to avoid them will be answered by people who have been there and done that. It is also a help-line through which you can find answers to your questions as the need arises.
You are invited to share, network and participate actively, grow your bottom line even as you help someone else to grow theirs!” – Source: Sagacity North-Mart on Facebook.
Besides, conducting research into the status of Caribbean entrepreneurs in Canada, I had opened an independent desk with Latrea Corporation later Brand Scout and had plans to serve Canada, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe in particular though not exclusively. Latrea Corporation was owned by Eastern European immigrants to Canada.
A stint with Sobeys Supermarket, which I enjoyed and which I wish was closer to me so I could continue to have the opportunity to study sales and marketing in that sector served as another driver. That opportunity allowed me to seek the extent to which Caribbean exporters were losing out by not using in-store sales and promotion to drive the sales and mainstream of their exports.
The Community of Practice for Caribbean Immigrant Entrepreneurs was a natural progression since business and entrepreneurship was one other area in which we are left behind. Hence the need to hasten the pace of growing high performing businesses in the diaspora and at home.
Moreover, it is a must that those businesses participate in the processes for ensuring good governance, problem solving and democracy working at its best.
If we do not act together to improve our social and economic status, and be recognized as significant contributors to our host countries we will not be able to contribute to our home countries. We need to position ourselves to be a more preferred demographic in our host countries before we can make more significant contributions to our home countries.
Windrush Scandal, Canadian and US deportation challenges are not just about racism.
We have a role to play in empowering our people to benefit and contribute more.
We need to earn a favourable position instead of “spurned” for a greater mass of our population. Unless we look at the combination of factors and own our role, as well as come together to make the needed change there will be even more heartache and loss ahead.
It is a two-way affair. Host countries must also strive to remove all artificial barriers, and level the playing field so those of us who are committed can contribute, if they too are to benefit from immigration.
The Rally Call – Caribbean Evaluators International By Meegan Scott, Founding Board Chair
The vision, commitment, aspirations, passion, needs, wants, obstacles, preferences, rights, and responsibilities that fueled the drive to deliver a VOPE for Caribbeans by Caribbeans.
Who planted the seed to act in my mind? An opportunity presented for VOPEs on the EvalPartners learning network.
What influenced the design of the VOPE experience as a Corporate Strategy Planner and longtime leader in Toastmasters International Jamaica, as well as University of New Orleans Alumni Association (Jamaica, Chapter), and of course hosting the Facebook Group Sagacity North-Mart.
Launch Year: 2018