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Department of Commerce and Investment is partnering with the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) to enhance the skills and knowledge of start-up and existing business owners. Currently business counseling and training are offered through a small business development center (SBDC) however the current staff cannot keep up with the demand.  Creating a business center in a university setting would relieve some of the demand on SBDC, offer students more business development training, and create more research on business in the Caymans. To help integrate the SBDC model into the university system, Robert Myers, Area Director for the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida, traveled to the Cayman Islands November 7-14, 2010 to provide an overview on the Florida SBDC model and training on how to create the partnership between the University College of the Cayman Islands and the Department of Commerce and Investment.  Myers worked with the participants on the levels of funding that would be needed to create a sustainable model, what programs to incorporate from the Florida SBDC model, how to work with local banks to serve their clients, and how to fundraise for the newly established center.


The Cayman Islands Investment Bureau (CIIB) is a government agency that serves to improve the awareness and interest in small business development and entreprenuership in the Cayman Islands. They conduct public forums, workshops and seminars geared toward entrepreneuers and small business owners, as well as one on one training and consultations. Director Dr. Dax Basdeo recognized several areas that needed improvement, and called upon FAVACA for assistance. First time volunteer Marian Morgan, a life and business coach from Miami Beach, joined three time volunteer and Director of the Small Business Development Center at Florida Atlantic University, Nancy Young from Boca Raton, in traveling to Grand Cayman May 3-5, 2007. The duo trained over 100 small business owners and staff on a wide range of topics geared to improve their chances of success, including: staff training and retention; marketing; client relationships and more. They also trained the staff of the CIIB in effective methods and techniques in one on one business training and consultations.


Jondo Malafa Obi, Executive Director, and Elizabeth Stewart, Registered Nurse, both of the Cayman Islands Red Cross, hosted instructor training in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. FAVACA volunteers, Tonnie W. Rollins and Scott W. Barry, both of Tallahassee, traveled February 15-22, 2006. Rollins and Barry conducted sessions in First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) for children and adults, as well as Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training to over 50 participants. Emergency incidents surge during the busy Cayman tourist season. The course provided participants the skills necessary for administering CPR and rescue breathing and was conducted in accordance with the standards required by the American Heart Association. Rollins is a 14 year veteran of the Tallahassee Fire Department and Barry has spent 12 years as a paramedic and alternate supervisor with Leon County. This volunteer mission was made possible in-part by the generosity of the Jimmy Buffett Singing for Change Foundation, OUTBACK Steakhouse®, and CARRABBA'S Italian Grill.


The Cayman Islands Investment Bureau (CIIB) contacted FAVACA in hopes of recovering and boosting their local economy as it attempts to rebuild itself after the effects of Hurricane Ivan. The CIIB is committed to developing a program to strengthen small businesses while fostering the needs of aspiring entrepreneurs. First time FAVACA volunteers Ed Rodriguez, Tallahassee, and Jim Greear, Casselberry, traveled to the Caymans January 29 through February 4, 2006 to provide seminars and workshops for nearly 300 participants. Topics included: developing competitive businesses and communities, economic development strategies, integrating efforts of similar organizations, international sources of economic development, electronic commerce, and developing a balanced portfolio. Greear has over 24 years of business experience focusing in startup, turnaround and territory expansion. He is owner and CEO of Innovative Partners, Inc., a creative sales and marketing growth consulting firm based in Orlando. Rodriguez's career has spanned across large multi-national corporations, small start-up companies, and federal as well as state government. He holds advanced degrees from Harvard's Kennedy School and Wharton's School of Business. He is the owner of ConnectivSolutions, a firm based in Tallahassee which services private and public sector clients in the areas of government relations, business development, management consulting, IT solutions and security solutions.


At the request of the Cayman Islands' National Trust, FAVACA volunteer consultants Bill Young and Drew Gillett conducted workshops for over fifty participants in Cayman Brac and Grand Cayman, November 13-19, 2005. Their course was designed to provide basics for the solar industry, decision makers, managers, disaster organizations, shelter managers and people within affected communities. The workshop also focused on photovoltaic and emergency plans. Young is a senior research engineer at the Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa. Gillett of Manchester, New Hampshire, is a professional engineering consultant on thermal technology. The National Trust is a non-profit statutory body charged with preservation of natural environments and places of historical significance. This volunteer mission was made possible in-part by Jimmy Buffett's Singing for Change Charitable Foundation, Outback Steakhouse, and Carrabba's Italian Grill.

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