Some of the sponsors of this year's Ideas & Cocktails, COSME Programme and National Bank of the Virgin Islands.
Some of the sponsors of this year’s Ideas & Cocktails, COSME Programme and National Bank of the Virgin Islands.

I consider myself an accidental entrepreneur. All I really wanted to do was live life passionately. I wanted my life to be about my work and my work to be about my life. Less than a year into my first “adult” job, I knew that what I was in search of would not be found in the employment opportunities at the time; so I became an entrepreneur.

Along the way, I quickly realised that I needed a community, an ecosystem of sorts to support my passion, reassure me that I wasn’t crazy in attempting to build a business, a sounding board at times and also space and energy to support others seeking to blaze their own trail. In 2012 I stumbled upon Global Entrepreneurship Week and in 2013, blinded again by passion and with the support of an eager assistant, Barnes PR hosted the first Global Entrepreneurship Week activities in the Virgin Islands, GEW VI.

Our events for the week have grown significantly over these past four years, we’ve had online chats, talks with students, interviews with politicians, conceived the series Confessions of an Entrepreneur, and this year we hosted our first regional entrepreneurship conference – eLab 2016. We’ve won the GEW UK High Impact Award for our activities annually, and I do believe that we’ve managed to form that community, not just for me, but for many other entrepreneurs, locally and now regionally.

In pictures, here’s a look back at one of my favourite activities each year, Ideas & Cocktails, a pop-up shop and networking mixer.

Activities this year were sponsored by the COSME Programme, Minister for Education and Culture, Hon Myron V. Walwyn, National Bank of the Virgin Islands, MVW International and Digicel BVI.

Ideas & Cocktails winner, Faye Smith-Penn of Inspirations VI won a $2,500 digital package from Digicel.
Ideas & Cocktails winner, Faye Smith-Penn of Inspirations VI won a $2,500 digital package from Digicel.

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