FundRiseHERTM Country Affilate

A. CECILE WATSON

#FundRiseHERTM is innovative and timely. We're growing community engagement & crowdfunding to improve opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
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Hi! I am Cecile, and I am wearing several hats in the FundRiseHER program, including being the Country Affiliate for Jamaica.

I became a late-in-life entrepreneur after many years in leadership in the corporate world and building a distinguished career as a Banker and a C-Suite leader in the private and public sector in the Caribbean.

I started pitchandchoose.com in 2014 as the first regional crowdfunding platform to serve the Caribbean. At the heart of the initiative was my desire to leverage available and innovative technology to improve opportunities for Caribbean economies to access capital to build and upgrade the social, physical and economic infrastructure. So with an initial focus on fundraising for charitable causes, the platform was introduced with a focus on familiarizing the region on crowdfunding. Ultimately, our vision is to be the number one online Caribbean fundraising gateway globally.

My second venture, Gr8way Consulting, is domiciled in Jamaica and it is the entity through which all the development takes place. On my journey to take my message across the Caribbean, I became a facilitator for the Canadian funded infoDev World Bank WINC Acceleration Program. I am therefore now also working with growth-oriented women entrepreneurs to help them grow and scale their businesses through peer learning and exposure to pertinent content, knowledge and mentorship. The concept behind FundRiseHER was birthed when several of the women entrepreneurs who were also facilitators repeatedly approached me about finding ways to create grants for women entrepreneurs. When Valrie Grant was named as the Commonwealth BusinessWomen’s Ambassador in late 2015, she also approached me asking about what could be done.

And so FundRiseHER was born. Through Valrie, we readily got the backing of the CommonWealth BusinessWomen’s Network and Caribbean Export Development Agency. I also recruited a small core team of expert resources from across the Caribbean who also had a passion for the Caribbean and who caught the vision and wanted to help to make it happen. Then my fellow WINC facilitators readily came on board as FundRiseHER country affiliates to enable their markets to also benefit from this gamechanger. We have reached this far because of the collective input, expertise and willingness to serve by the many persons that we have drawn on along the way.

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