Martinique technology company airZoon has successfully completed intensive negotiations and launched a Wi-Fi advertising platform at popular restaurants in Saint Lucia with the support of the INTERREG Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean project (TEECA project).
Founder of airZoon Steve Bercy who currently provides the same services in Martinique concluded a strategic partnership with Saint Lucian young entrepreneur Dennell Florius, owner of Eco Carib.
Both companies benefited from the technical assistance and trade facilitation support under the INTERREG TEECA project. This project is intended to increase reciprocal trade between Martinique and the English speaking OECS countries. Hence, INTERREG TEECA currently supports 29 companies to access markets by reducing technical, language and cultural barriers that inhibit interregional trade.
Multiple restaurants now provide customers with airZoon Wi-Fi technology in Saint Lucia including Felly Belly, Tapas on the Bay, Golden Taste and Cream N’ Bean. In the coming weeks, Steve Bercy intends to roll out the services at other locations in the Rodney Bay and Castries area.
OECS Competitive Business Technical Specialist Kwesi Roberts recalled the important role of these engagements to increase reciprocal trade within the region.
The participation of Martinique in the OECS is very important to strengthen the trade linkages between the French and English speaking OECS. The OECS Competitive Business Unit is delighted with the progress of airZoon and looks forward to the success of other companies as the project continues”. Kwesi Roberts stated.
Kwesi Roberts also indicated that the project was in line with the strategic goals of the OECS since it seeks to accelerate business growth within the Eastern Caribbean by providing a platform for entrepreneurs to form strategic partnerships to access markets and contribute to the economic development of the region.
The Martinique based company was able to expand this Wi-Fi connection service thanks to the Business Immersion component of the TEECA project.
The business immersion seeks to foster exchanges between beneficiary companies in the TEECA network by enabling an entrepreneur to be hosted by another entrepreneur of the same industry for a one-week period in order to discuss innovative ideas, gain market intelligence and conclude strategic partnerships to access opportunities in each other’s market. Hence, Saint Lucia based TEECA Trade Facilitation Officer Anaïs Cornuault provides support to companies aiming at accessing other markets such as airZoon.
“My role is to assist airZoon in the definition of a penetration strategy for the Saint Lucian market. Our main challenge was to identify the most relevant local contacts prior to the business immersion period. I am also in charge of attending meetings with the small and medium enterprises that I am supporting, and I strive to ensure that they get the most out of each meeting. I look forward to the upcoming trade exchanges between Saint Lucia and Martinique.” Ms Cornuault said.
Other companies that are benefitting from the TEECA project in other sectors such as music, fashion, Green Tech and agro-processing should conclude partnerships to expand their trade in other OECS Member States soon.
About INTERREG TEECA
The Trade Enhancement for the Eastern Caribbean Project (TEECA) is co-funded by INTERREG Caraïbes and led by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Martinique (CCIM), in partnership with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), the Caribbean Export Development Agency (Caribbean Export), and the Territorial Collectivity of Martinique (CTM).
The TEECA project was launched in 2018 and aims to accelerate trade within OECS Member States. Hence, 29 companies selected at the end of the call for projects are currently benefiting from a tailor-made support programme for two years with the aim of embarking on exports to the Caribbean.
This programme also aims to promote entrepreneurship among young people in the OECS Member States through the TECCA Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge.
About INTERREG CARAIBES Programme 2014-2020
Coordinated by the Regional Council of Guadeloupe as the Managing Authority, INTERREG Caraïbes is a European Union programme which enables the French and European territories of Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique and Saint-Martin, to undertake actions that foster cooperation with neighbour countries of the Greater Caribbean. More than 35 countries from an area that encompasses Mexico in the north, to Venezuela in the south, are included among the potential partners of INTERREG funded projects.