Ira Pastor, ideaXme exponential health ambassador interviews Lisandra Rickards, CEO at Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship, Caribbean and Founder @ Merrivale Ventures LLC (Soul Career).
Rickards has spearheaded the Centre’s strategic shift towards a venture capital model, supporting growth stage entrepreneurs towards investment. She has raised funding for the expansion of the Centre’s mission and relocated its headquarters from Montego Bay to the business hub of Kingston.
Ira Pastor comments:
On the past few episodes we’ve been taking a virtual around-the-world jaunt, from Palau in the remote South Pacific to Mauritius in the Indian ocean, talking with various thought leaders and visionaries about the themes of innovation, entrepreneurship, technology, and economic development.
But we have yet to really explore the topic of the ”blue economy”, which is a general term in economics relating to both the exploitation and preservation of the marine environment.
According to the World Bank’s definition, the blue economy is the “sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods, and jobs while preserving the health of ocean ecosystems.”
In addition to traditional ocean activities such as fishing, tourism and shipping, the blue economy entails emerging industries including renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive activities, marine biotechnology, and bio-prospecting.
Blue economy also attempts to embrace ocean ecosystem services that are not captured by the market but provide significant contribution to economic and human activity. They include carbon sequestration, coastal protection, waste disposal, and the existence of biodiversity.
A 2015 World Wildlife Fund (WWF) briefing puts the value of key ocean assets over US$24 trillion, employing over 3 million people globally.
Today, I’m joined by Ms. Lisandra Rickards, who is the Chief Entrepreneurship Officer at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship – Caribbean, headquartered in Kingston, Jamaica, a nonprofit formed through the philanthropic organization, Virgin Unite, the not-for-profit foundation of the Virgin Group, the British multinational venture capital conglomerate founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.
As CEO, Lisandra spearheads the Centre’s strategy to support growth-stage entrepreneurs towards investment and raises funding for the expansion of the Centre’s mission.
She previously headed the Programmes department, developing equity, loan, crowdfunding and grant opportunities, designing and developing the core content for the Centre’s free and open on-line platform, helping to launch the Alpha Angels Network of business angels in Jamaica, as well as doing impact analysis and reporting.
Before joining the Branson Centre, Lisandra conducted economic and statistical research for the best-selling books Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics; consulted for the Ministry of Finance in Jamaica; worked at Bain & Company in New York City; and helped develop the global brand strategy for Caribbean conglomerate GraceKennedy. She was previously a Director of Business Development at the RMP Group, a private investment firm based in Orlando, Florida that targeted businesses in the United States currently servicing Fortune 1000 clients for investments of growth capital.
Lisandra has an MBA with First-Year Honors from Harvard Business School, and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Student Marshal.
In 2008, she was featured in the CNBC documentary The Money Chase: Inside Harvard Business School.
On this episode of ideaXme we will hear from Lisandra:
– About her background, her career journey, and her role as CEO of the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.
– About top economic issues the CARICOM region is facing in 2019.
– About the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship Blue Economy investments.
– About her views on industries such as cannabis and medical tourism in the CARICOM region.
– About other investments of Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship and future visions.
ideaXme is a global podcast, creator series and mentor programme. Mission: Move the human story forward!™ ideaXme Ltd. You can listen to this podcast on 10 audio platforms including iTunes, Google Podcast and Stitcher. Find ideaXme’s blog here: www.radioideaxme.com. Follow on Twitter @ideaxm on Instagram @ideaxme.