How to Future-Proof The Caribbean Through Tech Entrepreneurship & Investment? | Silicon Caribe

On Saturday, August 20, 2022, I headline the Women in Tech Caribbean Conference where I spoke to over 100 Women from over 7 Caribbean Nations and the US and EU Diaspora. What follows below is the script I delivered my speech from.

Hi everyone,

I really appreciate this opportunity to speak to you this morning. 

First, let me warn you, this is likely not to be the kinda speech that you expected when you read the title…How to Future-Proof The Caribbean Through Tech Entrepreneurship and Investment.

Here’s why…

I believe that The number one way to future-proof the Caribbean through tech entrepreneurship and investments is…by women betting on themselves and betting on each other.

Now, I’m not just saying that because I’m speaking to an audience of women right now or because I am a woman…there is truth and power in us being here together in this forum, yes. 

But, I am saying it because I believe it. I am saying it because the emerging trends point to it and frankly, the future of the Caribbean depends on it. 

When you check the population numbers for Caribbean countries…women account for just over half of every population for every Caribbean nation. 

It averages between 50 and 55%. 

That is the precursor to the silent rise of embedded power and influence that women hold, which can be seen more now across politics, education, and business. 

Women literally hold half of the responsibility for future-proofing the Caribbean with tech entrepreneurship and investment. 

But do they know that, do they know where we’re coming from, and are they taking the lead and the responsibility with themselves and with each other?

We’ve been seeing the slow yet impactful changes in our Governing Power

We’ve had Our First Female Caribbean Prime Minister she was Dame Eugenia Charles in Dominica. our Second was Portia Simpson Miller of Jamaica and now we have Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Mottley.

In terms of Women’s Business Executive power: Increasingly the number of women in the C-Suite in private sector companies is so palpable that…we hear the numbers trotted out every year on International Women’s Day.

For example in Jamaica…In 2015, it was reported by the International Labour Organization (ILO) that Jamaica had the highest number of women managers, globally, ahead of countries like the United States and the United Kingdom. 

59.3 % to be exact.

Yet, in 2022 you can’t throw a stone in a Corporate Board Room and hit a woman, because they are barely there. 

And don’t let me get started on the reported fact that women are paid 25–40% less than men globally.

Regarding our Education & Knowledge Power: In 2018, almost 70 % of enrolment of the University of the West Insides were female and this is across Jamaica, Trinidad, and Barbados campuses. In St Kitts…they saw a 78 % female enrolment as opposed to 18 % male enrolment. 

What you don’t hear often is that “For the first 35 years of its existence, The University of the West Indies (UWI) enrolled and graduated more way males than females.” So, men, had a 35-year head start.


Out there In the wild world of Wealth….economically and globally, women control US$36 trillion in total wealth. How comes? Women make 70% of all major financial decisions for themselves and their families, everything from auto, home, and investment. 

In the U.S. alone, women control US$14 trillion in assets or roughly 60% of personal wealth, which is expected to climb to $22 trillion in 2020. 

Right now, Women collectively represent the second largest economy in the world based on earned income vs GDP.  

But what are women really doing with his influence and wealth?


In Entrepreneurship & Investing: It was reported that In 2020, that Venture Capital funding was up to US$300billion. Only 800 women-founded startups globally received US$4.9billion. That was a 27% year-over-year decrease.

It has been reported that in the US and yes here in the Caribbean, women are starting businesses at a faster rate than men…yet they are still behind in having mentors, sponsors, coaches, deal connectors, and yep…patient and smart investment capital. 

Yet, it is a statistically confirmed fact, that investing in more women could boost the global economy by 3-6% or US$5Trillion dollars.

While we digest all of that…the challenges, the achievements…I want to challenge you and inspire you now.

I challenge you to accept that the global economic, entrepreneurship, and investment system was created by men for men. This is not my opinion, it’s just been a fact for ages… backed and supported by Religion, Wars, Governing power, and Social and Cultural factors. 

Some will say ah just so di ting set. 

In other words, it’s just how it’s always been. 

Well, sure…until things started to change by the women who came before you… who are now passing the baton to YOU.

I challenge you to reject The myth of the marginalized man. There is a false and manipulative narrative that men are being mariginalised…in Jamaica or in any Caribbean nation. Not true.

Marginalised means that a person, group, or concept is treated as insignificant or sidelined. When I hear this…My response is always this….. 

“It can’t be marginalisation, when you’ve had a 100-year headstart and you are still in many ways the dominant culture. Not because a few numbers have started to turn, but all of a sudden you are scared. And then I ask, why are you scared…equity is the goal, not dominance. 

So Why is equity so scary to some people?

The other challenge I have for you women is 100% internal and personal. 

I challenge you to find ways to reject Imposture Syndrome and stand in your personal power, stand in your collective power.

I challenge you to ask for help more and receive it graciously. You are not meant to be burden bearers, you are meant to be leaders and record breakers….warrior women and way makers.

I challenge you to tell your full, authentic story, privately, publicly, and consistently- we all need to hear it, see ourselves in it, and be inspired and challenged by it.

I challenge you to speak up for yourself wherever you are and speak up for the women beside you and down the road from you. We cannot make it in this world on our own.

Those are the first few challenges I have for you.

But, I have a few more…so clutch your pearls…and get COZY! 

I challenge you to accept what Danielle Kayembe said in 2017, what is proving to be true in the trends we’re seeing, and also what I believe from my head top to my toe point.

Danielle Kayembe

In her article – The Silent Rise of the Female Economy she said “I would argue that women are the single largest opportunity in the market today — overlooked, and underfunded. There are few markets left in today’s world with little competition — yet this is exactly the state of affairs when it comes to the needs and dreams of women.”

Why….because In this new era, “every woman, by virtue of her lived experience, is now a walking hub of multi-million dollar business ideas. “If she stands in that knowledge and power, if she is in touch with her needs and her dreams.

You see, As women, if we begin to innovate and invest in products based on our own experiences and pain points, this will result in a fundamental shift in consumer buying, belief, and behavior patterns.

And the beautiful thing too, is that “unlike your standard emerging market, you don’t have to wait years for the market to mature. Women are already a fully matured market in terms of size and economic spending. There’s almost no gap or lag time.  And due to the lack of access to capital, women don’t have the luxury of building wildly unprofitable businesses for 5–7 years.  Women are more likely to build revenue-positive businesses just because they have had to be more resourceful.  

And yet, with all of this going on….The current business, technology and investment establishment is asleep at the wheel. These companies and funds don’t have the internal culture or external network to identify, invest in, and nurture this next generation of companies. But YOU DO!

Men may currently control much of the system of investment, but Women represent the largest arbitrage opportunity in the market today.


If you are called to be a tech entrepreneur….look first to yourself and the unique pain points and desires of other women….and launch that business and that could be in any tech industry – crypto, fintech, ecommerce, Web3, or tech-enabled industries such as media, wellness, health, fashion or beauty….find and join groups of female-founded companies and ecosystems. Leverage the unique ways women communicate and sell to each other. Milk this moment that we have right now.

And if you’re not called to be a tech entrepreneur – then Invest in a female-founded business by spending money with them. Deliberately send business their way, first.  You can also become an angel investor and also when they go public, scoop up as many shares as you can.

Remember what I told you earlier, women around the world are in control of US$34 trillion in capital choices. When this wave of female-controlled capital choices comes off the sidelines it will be a game changer.

So yes,  I believe that The number one way to future-proof the Caribbean through tech entrepreneurship and investments is…women betting on themselves and each other.

I want to inspire you by pointing women are right now Future-proofing the Caribbean in their own way… 

  • Kimala Bennett – runs a billion-dollar public media company called The Lab. 
  • Crypto Isle – a Crypto and Blockchain startup and community in the Bahamas run by two women – Dr. Jillian Bethel and Davinia Bain
  • Kenia Mattis runs the leading Animation and Design Studio in the Caribbean right here in Jamaica called
  • Narda Ventura -Cofounded and runs a fast growing ecommerce service platform called
  • Monique Powell – Runs the leading online food and Grocery deliver business- QuickcartOnline
  • Monique Powell – runs the leading HR/Talent Platform –

Future-proofing the Caribbean through tech entrepreneurship and investments is literally your responsibility – as women you hold up half the Caribbean sky. 

You see, I believe that when we acknowledge the truth of where we are coming from and get clarity from ourselves and other women.- we are future-proofing the Caribbean. 

When women stand in who we are, stand in the power and achievements of the women who came before us and the ones who are before us now…we are future-proofing the Caribbean. 

When, women take the lead…fearlessly- we are future-proofing the Caribbean. 

And a reminder, this is not an anti-man speech or an us vs them speech.

This speech, however, is unapologetically  a pro-equity and a pro-ownership speech. 

This is a pro-Caribbean speech speaking to you the women who make up 53% of our Region’s population… I just want to get riled up enough so you go out there and break the rules, make a scene, create a stir and never look back!! 

Thank you.

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