Ministry of Trade & Industry and UTC Reaffirm Support for Entrepreneurs Through Scale Up TT


June 28th, 2024 – The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) and the Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation (UTC) on June 28th, announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) marking their continued partnership in support of cohorts 4 and 5 of the dynamic Scale Up Trinidad and Tobago Business Accelerator. This initiative, aimed at medium-sized companies with significant growth potential, seeks to drive economic growth and innovation through fostering a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Developed by Professor Daniel Isenberg, founder of Entrepreneurship Policy Advisors (EPA) in the United States, the Scale Up Programme has a proven track record of success. Since its inception in Manizales, Colombia in 2010, the program has empowered countless entrepreneurs across diverse countries.

UTC’s participation in Scale Up TT aligns with the Corporation’s efforts to help small and medium-sized enterprises firmly establish themselves in the country’s business landscape by boosting revenue, exports, and employment. “Growth is a continuous journey – Scale Up TT is not a one-and-done programme. It is a mindset shift that we hope will serve to fundamentally shape the conversation around entrepreneurship and transform how our business owners think about expansion.” said Nigel Edwards, Executive Director of the Unit Trust Corporation.

This renewed partnership between the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Unit Trust Corporation builds upon the programme’s established track record. All three cohorts feature impressive growth stories, as companies have ramped up hiring, exponentially increased revenues, landed new contracts, and expanded into new regional markets and lines of business.

Senator the Honourable Paula Gopee-Scoon, Minister of Trade and Industry, noting the success of businesses participating in the first 3 cohorts, stated, “SMEs are the engine of growth in developing countries and that cannot be overlooked. It is therefore imperative that targeted programmes be implemented to support the SMEs. Since the launch of the Scale Up TT Programme in 2021, over 30 participating businesses with a combined revenue in excess of $460 million, also comprising more than 1,200 employees, and that is salient because those employees have benefitted from this programme. We are building on this success and continuing to build this momentum today with the launch of cohorts 4 and 5.”

Scale Up TT now boasts a total of 34 companies and 173 Scale Up TT alumni graduates. Edwards added, “Through Scale Up TT, many of the companies have already seen leadership growth and development, their employees have seen more opportunities and expanded careers, their customers are experiencing better and expanded services and their growth is either directly or indirectly spilling over into their communities. Each of these businesses forms part of an ecosystem that itself, connects to this larger ecosystem, and it is a thing of beauty to look at from my vantage point”

The Scale Up TT programme targets established businesses with high-growth potential. Through a series of workshops and mentorship sessions, the programme equips participants with the knowledge and tools necessary to scale their operations effectively. This approach is expected to foster a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that encourages innovation, creativity, and continuous learning.