Press Release

Premier's Office
Release Date:
Friday, 25 October 2019 - 4:36pm

Statement by the Acting Premier of the Virgin Islands, Honourable Kye Rymer
at the Innovation Week Press Conference

Friday, 25th October, 2019
10:00 a.m. | House of Assembly Conference Room

Good morning everyone,

It gives me great pleasure as the Acting Premier of the Virgin Islands to address this formal introduction of the BVI Innovative Business Lab and the first iteration of Innovation Week (i Week) in the Territory.

I am also grateful, to be a part of history, where the Government of the Virgin Islands is joining with the Overseas Countries and Territories Association Innovation Programme , to empower the community of entrepreneurs, under the 10th EDF of the European Union.

Let me publicly thank the Junior Minister for Trade and Economic Development, Honourable Sharie B. de Castro, and the Department of Trade, Investment Promotions, and Consumer Affairs for engineering such an INNOVATIVE plan, where local entrepreneurs will be given an opportunity to learn techniques on how to take their businesses to the next level.  Our business community will become inspired through the seminars, workshops and presentations from local professionals, who are expert innovators.

The week of activities begins from Monday, October 28 to Thursday, October 31 and has been carefully planned with the business community in mind.  You see, it is no secret that small businesses are the life blood of any economy, and as we continue to diversify our economic offerings we must find INNOVATIVE ways of doing business.

There is a Chinese proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”. I believe in the message that if you give a man or woman a fish, it is only for one day, but if you teach the same man or woman, either of them will be able to grow and reap the benefits of their personal commitment  for a life time. Today, therefore is about empowerment.  As leaders of this Territory it is our intention to teach our people to become self-sufficient through INNOVATIVE training programmes that will produce an INNOVATIVE group of entrepreneurs that will in turn create an INNOVATIVE driven Virgin Islands economy.

This is important because businesses have a role to play in diversifying the BVI’s economy as we rebuild the era of economic substance.  The next great idea can come from anywhere or anyone, so it therefore means that any investment in small businesses is an investment in the potential sustainability of the Virgin Islands.

I therefore, urge all interested persons to come out and participate in this week of activities that will aid in advancing their businesses to a global level.  Media partners, I charge you to share the information so that all businesses and those considering entrepreneurship can take advantage and benefit from this week of events.

Collectively, it is our job to ensure the success of our small and medium sized businesses, because successful businesses employ people, successful businesses are good cooperate citizens and successful business create a vibrant economy.  

I once again thank Honourable de Castro for her passion and commitment to the launch of iWeek and the introduction of the BVI Innovative Business Lab.  As a Minister of Government and an entrepreneur, I pledge my support to my colleague and the Department of Trade, Investment Promotions, and Consumer Affairs, so that together as a Government and as a community, we continue to be supportive of our local entrepreneurs through similar ventures such as iWeek.

To the business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, students COME, LET’S INNOVATE for iWeek 2019

I thank you.