BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Known for its spices and nutmeg production, Grenada offers great opportunities for agribusiness entrepreneurs willing to take risks and embark on a new business.
Stephanie Ryan is one of them. In 2015, she and her partner Jim Jardine launched Summer Ltd, a company that produces healthy beverages from tropical fruits available on the island, such as mango, passion fruit, and coconut.
After a couple of years spent consolidating her business, Ryan is ready to expand across the Caribbean. LINK-Caribbean — a program that facilitates access to finance for promising Caribbean entrepreneurs — is supporting her business ambition through a $75,000 co-investment grant.
Angel investors helped launch the agribusiness
After visiting several Caribbean countries in a bid to find the best place to launch their company, in 2014, Ryan and Jardine settled on Grenada. “It’s a beautiful, safe island and the people are known for their warmth,” Ryan says.
“When we went to buy juice from the local grocery store we were surprised to find out that there was no commercial juicing facility on the island, despite the abundance of local fruit, so we contacted the government and started a conversation,” Ryan says. “We got lots of help with understanding the opportunities and the business climate and had some concessions offered with bringing in equipment. But there was no money or financing available.”
Ryan and Jardine got the much-needed capital from an angel investor. With the funding received, they rented and converted a 6,000 square foot…