Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods, is the region’s premier social and economic development resource and entrepreneurship organization, focused on getting young and mature males & females to become entrepreneurial, resilient citizens, whether through starting and growing their businesses or as more engaged/productive citizens.  

The organization is a force for good, focused on providing incubator/accelerator services/programmes, co-sharing /working space as well as workforce and leadership development.  The CoESL helps to inculcate the “leaving no one behind” model.  We focus on Developing People, Preserving the Planet, Maintaining Peace and Building durable Partnerships, (4P’s).

Working with approved implementing partners, regionally and globally, who are selected by the Centre, based on Credibility, Competence, Connections and Confidence, CoESL, is tackling the root causes of poverty, climate change, inequality and injustice. This force for good and partners ares focused on infecting the world, by equipping people with skills, technological know-how, broad based knowledge, value-added connections, attitudes and behaviours to catapult them into decent, sustainable jobs.  

The CoESL serves entrepreneurs by providing incubator and accelerator services as well as co-working spaces.

The CoESL serves its partners by providing leadership, value-added connections, resource mobilization, standard setting, capacity and institutional development and quality control.

“Our mission is to entrench a philosophy of resilience, integrity, resourcefulness, professionalism and ambition into the psyche of girls, boys, young men and women, mature males and females, helping them to analyze situations, make appropriate decisions, take reasonable risks and solve problems." 

"This multi-faceted, holistic approach will fuel creativity, stimulate innovation and accelerate entrepreneurship, creating a culture of entrepreneurship, thus making it a natural school to work transition career choice.”  Marcia Brandon -  Founder/Chief Entrepreneurship Expert @2012.

The entrepreneurial mindset will help to create a transformational shift, which will assist people in changing their commercial and consumption patterns, their behavior towards work, improve gender justice and discrimination.  

It will accelerate social and economic sustainability, helping people to create wealth and changing the power dynamics within our societies.   It will give a voice to the voiceless and allow people to become engaged and live a life of dignity.

CoESL’s flagship programmes are Workforce Development; Leadership, Public/Private/Civil Society Partnership; Entrepreneurship, Research & Development, social & business mentoring and Climate Change.  Gender, inequality, injustice and poverty are cross cutting themes.

This is an initiative, borne out of an increasing demand by Caribbean and Latin American countries wanting to help their people to secure sustainable livelihoods, provide entrepreneurial training and other incubator services for boys and girls, females, youth and adults, utilizing best practices and innovative, non-traditional strategies.  CoESL helps NGOs, entrepreneurship organizations and entrepreneurs to build sustainability; connect and interact and do business as well as evaluates and streamlines quality and standards in the operational systems of these organizations.


The CoESL is governed by a female Board of Trustees with input from a team of expert female, male and youth advisors.  The organization is led by Marcia Brandon, an award winning social entrepreneur who has pioneered youth entrepreneurship in the Caribbean and Latin America for the past 20 years.  She introduced Global Entrepreneurship Week to the Caribbean and recommended over nine (9) Caribbean organizations from as many countries to serve as hosts.  She has established and maintained a high level of trust, respect, honesty, competence, care for people, discipline, focus, loyalty among the partners she works with and even among those with whom she does not work.   She has assisted hundreds of youth, men and women to start and grow, businesses building sustainable livelihoods for themselves.  She believes strongly in regionalism and works to connect regional people as a way of building synergies, expanding networks, stimulating innovations, and achieving extraordinary results

 The CoESL has a strong team of professionals experienced in areas including civil society management and engagement, resource mobilization, entrepreneurship and its cross cutting, complex and multi- sector issues, as well as people management and capacity development.  The CoESL’s team shares the organization’s culture and believes in its mandate.


The CoESL’s concept was endorsed by the United Nations in 2012 and several regional partners, including the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) CARIBBEAN, Global Entrepreneurship Week and UNDP –Barbados & the OECS, have presented the CoESL with awards and accolades based on the high quality services and programmes which it offers. 

VISION -  To make entrepreneurship a natural part of the mindset of youth, men and women in the Caribbean and Latin America.

MISSION  -  To help  Caribbean and Latin American people to utilize their capabilities, assets and natural resources to create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and sustainable development for all.


 The Centre has created and operates over 20 innovative programmes which are used in combination and individually to help people to start and grow businesses and or become engaged, productive citizens. 

These include:


  1.       Entrepreneurship (Financial literacy)
  2.       Technology & Entrepreneurship
  3.        Female Entrepreneurship
  4.       School to Work Transition Programmes
  5.       Workforce Development Programmes
  6.       Leadership Development
  7.       Relationship Building
  8.       Climate Change


  1. Entrepreneurship
  2. Resilience
  3. Operating an Impactful NGO
  4. Sustainability
  5. Business Modeling
  6. Mobilizing Resources
  7. Partnership Building
  8. Leadership Development
  9. Young Agripreneurs
  10. Gender Relations
  11. Environmental/Climate Change
  12. Business mentoring and Coaching
  13. Social Entrepreneurship
  14. Networking/Connectors
  15. Trade and Access to Markets
  16. Branding/Image Building/Reputation Proposition
  17. Promotion/Public Relations
  18. Value Chain
  19. Financial Literacy
  20. Project Management
  21. Work Force Development
  22. School to Work Transition
  23. Research
  24. Conference Series


The CoESL’s overall goal is to help to ensure the economic well being, health and happiness of Caribbean and Latin American people; particularly females and young men and women by using entrepreneurship to increase the number of good and decent jobs and livelihoods in the region; decrease the number of young people not in education, employment or training;  increase access to financial services and assist with infrastructural improvements such as transportation and ICT; increase new start-ups  and continue to build a creative, innovative entrepreneurial, culture in the Caribbean and Latin America, and add value through new products.  Ultimately doing our part in improving sustainable social and economic development opportunities for  globally citizens.

The CoESL:

  • Helps young men and women and mature females and males to start and grow their businesses through a number of strategies including capital mobilization; business mentoring and coaching, tailor-made, non-traditional training and development among others. 
  • Strengthens the work of Caribbean and Latin American entrepreneurship and business organisations with which it partners, by assisting them with the start-up and growth  of their operations including implementation of structures, systems, processes and procedures; partnership building; resource mobilization, standards setting and quality assurance, accreditation and legitimization, to enable them to provide better services to the people they serve. 

  • Partners with regional NGOs in a very structured and systematic way to help them to implement sound strategies and implement successful projects and programmes, so they can sustainably serve their target group based on the triple bottom line concept of financial, social and environmental.

  • Partners with regional Public and Private sectors to develop entrepreneurship and social development programs for corporate social responsibility and community engagement to assist in helping their communities to create sustainable Livelihoods.

  • Partners with international social development investors to design, implement, monitor and evaluate socially and economically impactful projects/programs for youth, women and communities towards the sustainable development of the region.

  • Work in pre-schools, primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational and other special schools, including the differently-abled, ex-offenders and HIV/AIDS infected and affected, to educate, inform and stimulate boys and girls and young adults about the benefits of entrepreneurship and being an entrepreneurial citizen.  

  • Coordinates and connects regional entrepreneurial people, organizations, young entrepreneurs, female entrepreneurs, Youth Entrepreneurship Organisations (YEOs), Governments, the business/entrepreneurship community and other stakeholders to facilitate regional sustainable livelihoods and development programs and projects within the entrepreneurship eco-system.


  • Established the Global Internship & Shadowing programmes for Caribbean young entrepreneurs to transfer knowledge, technology, become exposed to different cultures and connect and build new networks.

  • Introduced Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) to the Caribbean and have worked with Diaspora to scale up entrepreneurship in the Caribbean.

  • Developed the young agripreneurs’ Caribbean peer to peer shadowing programme to help young agricultural entrepreneurs connect with each other, access markets and learn from each other.

  • Created Caribbean Entrepreneurship Week

  • Helped over 10 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America to start social and economic development organizations focused on youth and mature males and females.

  • Mobilized over US$10 million in financial resources to assist regional organizations and individuals in social and sustainable development programmes and projects.

  • Helped to start over 4300 young males and females and approximately 1500 women in business with over US$5million.  Each business providing 4 jobs on average.

  • Implemented the annual Caribbean and Latin American conference series on Youth Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Livelihoods as a way of promoting entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship, sustainable livelihoods, under take community research and engage Caribbean people in think tank sessions for valuable input in CoESL’s and partners programming; connect young male and female/ women entrepreneurs, private sectors, public sector and philanthropists across borders.  Help to promote and evaluate young entrepreneurs to feel valued and valuable to themselves, their communities and their countries.

  • Developed, established and implemented over 20 programmes necessary to help youth and women start and operate successful businesses.

  • Engaged regional organizations, who were not previously engaged, in the dialogue of entrepreneurship and developed strong, sustained partnerships with these organizations, including CARICOM, UNDP, CIBC FCIB, Caribbean Development Bank.

  • Developed and established the Regional Partnership Symposium series aimed at identifying synergies and building networks in countries, with an aim at reducing duplication and building capacity.

  • Engaged regional governments, on an individual basis, on the importance of sustainable Livelihoods, youth and female entrepreneurship, and regional entrepreneurship eco-systems.

  • Positioned business mentorship within the entrepreneurship eco-system in the region and established over 10 business mentorship programmes.