Dr. Marcia Brandon
Founder/Entrepreneurial People Development Specialist
Dr. Marcia Brandon is a social and economic development entrepreneur, of Jamaican birth, who has lived and worked in Barbados and the Caribbean for over 20 years. Lauded as a pioneer, champion and guru in entrepreneurship development, she is the Founder/Entrepreneurial People Development Specialist at the award winning, UN endorsed, Barbadian based, Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL). CoESL is the hub for the Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC), Global Entrepreneurship Network Caribbean lead; Global Entrepreneurship Week host in St. Kitts & Nevis and a partner for the CTEP project. She is the former Executive Director of the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT), where she served as an innovative leader, pioneering regional entrepreneurship development in general and youth entrepreneurship development specifically, with global impact, for fifteen (15) years. She has assisted 15 CARICOM countries, over 5 global and a number of OCTs with entrepreneurship development.
Marcia is very instrumental in building the entrepreneurship eco-system in Barbados and the Caribbean and was the only female on the very first committee established in the 1990’s to create the Barbados Small Business Development Act. She has worked strategically and creatively over the years to help to develop an integrated, holistic best practices Caribbean entrepreneurship development model which is now recognized and utilized nationally, regionally and globally.
With this model she has helped over 4000 young males and females and adults to start businesses through start- up capital, business mentoring, access to markets, research and development, leadership, non-traditional training including boot camps, simulations and regional connecting. She has sensitized an estimated 30,000 in school and out of school youth as well as adults to entrepreneurship as a career choice through resilience training, business mentoring and mindset change. Dr. Brandon is passionate about Caribbean integration and uses her abilities to connect entrepreneurs and people in general to each other, markets and other resources inside and outside of the region. She also works with social entrepreneurs and NGO professionals to help them to build capacity and reach sustainability.
Through the Samaritans and other Crisis Centres in Barbados and around the Caribbean, she has counselled numerous suicidal, abused and otherwise troubled females, mostly ending in helping them to find solutions and alternatives for their challenges. She has assisted with removing battered and abused females and their children from their homes into shelters or otherwise safe places. She has used entrepreneurship as a tool to help many of these females to become economically empowered through making sustainable livelihoods for themselves and others.
She was a member of the team which developed the CVQ standards for entrepreneurship in Barbados, she introduced entrepreneurship to the CARICOM youth desk at the CARICOM Secretariat and facilitated the development of an entrepreneurship training manual and programme for regional youth. She was also a member of the curriculum development entrepreneurship panel for CAPE at the Caribbean Examinations Council. She is a member of the World Bank project “Caribbean Climate Innovation Centre (CCIC)” and served as Chairperson June 2015-August 2016.
She co-designed, implemented and led as regional coordinator for the IDB Regional Youth Entrepreneurship project, fully designed and partially implemented the YEPEC USAID project and assisted in the design of the PROPEL project for women and youth.
She is a mentor for the Queens’ Young Leaders programme, WINC Caribbean, Cherie Blair Foundation and the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries Inc (BCSI) Export Incubation Support Unit (EISU).
Dr. Brandon is an Ambassador of the global programme, iChange Nations and the Golden Rule Movement. She is a global speaker on issues related to people development and sustainable development through entrepreneurship. She has presented papers and held discussions in countries including Kenya, South Africa, Dubai, Spain, Argentina, Hong Kong, China, UK, Latin America and throughout CARICOM. She sits on many Boards and has authored many articles and publications. She has received many awards and accolades for her work. Dr. Brandon’s mantras and guiding principles are “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” Women Support Women, iValue Me and iValue You and “Faith equals Resilience”. She believes that there is enough in the world for everyone to live decent lives with dignity and that there is no need for anyone to be left behind.