About Us


The Caribbean Local Green-Blue Enterprises Knowledge Platform is a collaborative online space to catalyse and facilitate enhanced support for the LGE sector through building awareness and understanding about the LGE sector, its importance and needs and opportunities for enhanced support.

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Our Story

Why support LGEs?

Caribbean rural communities depend on nature for their livelihoods and well-being. Community entrepreneurs develop businesses based on the use of nature, for example via community-based ecotourism, natural crafts and jewelry, fisheries and mariculture, or added-value agricultural products such as honey and chocolate. These LGEs strive to deliver triple bottom line benefits for their community, environment and local economy i.e., People, Planet and Profit. Many actively practice stewardship approaches, which conserve the biodiversity upon which they depend and contribute to climate resilience, while supporting sustainable livelihoods and providing economic opportunities for rural communities. LGEs support inclusive local economic development, which is key in addressing poverty, discrimination and exclusion, inequalities, and vulnerabilities in Caribbean rural communities. 

What support do LGEs need?

There is very little understanding of or support for the micro-enterprise and informal sectors in the Caribbean. The niche sector of rural nature-based enterprises is practically invisible in existing support and financing programmes.

Challenges LGEs face include poor access to finance and technical support, exclusion from markets, and inappropriate policy, legislative, regulatory, and fiscal frameworks. A definition, special legal status and coherent and strong policy framework for social and green enterprises are needed, which could support certification schemes and financing. Existing business support services and incubator programs need to be reformed to better serve LGEs, with comprehensive “one stop shop” financial, legal, advisory, and capacity-building services. Financial products and grant programmes need to be tailored to fit the needs of the LGE sector. Strengthening LGEs’ access to traditional markets and specialised niche markets is also needed.

In addition to these business development challenges, LGEs depend on natural ecosystems in the Caribbean, but these are being degraded and destroyed by numerous threats, for example pollution, clearing for physical development, impacts of invasive species and disease, and unsustainable use.

Rural nature-based enterprises are also especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The natural ecosystems they depend on are being impacted by effects such as sea level rise, stronger storms, heavy rainfall, drought, and warmer seas. Weak infrastructure in rural areas leaves them vulnerable if access or key utilities.

The COVID-19 pandemic heavily impacted the MSME sector in the Caribbean, with disproportionate impacts documented on vulnerable groups such as small-scale fishers, farmers, women, and the informal sector including many LGEs. Concerted efforts are needed to enhance support to this vulnerable sector as part of economic development in the region, including COVID-19 recovery.

How are we supporting LGEs?

CANARI is working to support the Caribbean LGE sector in several ways.

Incubation support:

CANARI helps rural community entrepreneurs to identify feasible businesses which they can develop based on the sustainable use of natural resources, and provides capacity building and seed funding to support them to establish their business. CANARI developed the  Local Green-Blue Enterprise Radar as a simple tool which LGEs can use to self-assess their strengths and opportunities for improving their delivery of economic, social and environmental benefits to their communities while practicing good governance. CANARI has trained expert small business mentors across the Caribbean who help to provide hands-on tailored coaching, mentoring and training to these LGEs. Facilitating peer exchanges among LGEs and fostering collaboration are other ways we support development of the sector.

Climate proofing:

CANARI has developed an innovative method for building resilience or ‘climate proofing’ LGEs by assessing the impacts of climate change along the entire value chain of an enterprise. Raising awareness about the specific projected climate impacts for their location is a critical first step, bringing together scientific and local knowledge. Entrepreneurs can then assess vulnerabilities to these impacts at each stage along their value chain – inputs, production, processing and distribution, marketing, and consumers – and identify actions to address these vulnerabilities through resilience-building strategies. For example, farmers and apiculturists can install rainwater harvesting systems to build resilience to droughts. Farmers can consider shifting to drought-resistant crops. Chocolate-making and other agricultural processing enterprises can install solar power systems for processing facilities to enhance stability and reliability of electricity supply given the vulnerability of overheard power lines. Entrepreneurs can develop storage facilities where they secure their supplies until roads damaged by landslides are reopened. These actions not only build resilience to short-term and long-term climate impacts, but also improve the enterprise’s production and supply systems, including via cost-saving measures.

Policy influence:

CANARI has long been promoting the need to strengthen policies, laws, regulations, structures and systems to better enable the LGE sector. For example, CANARI conducted research on what are the barriers to financing LGEs and convened an action learning group of LGEs, support agencies and finance institutions who are working together on innovative solutions. CANARI helped to inspire the Santa Cruz Declaration on Local Green Enterprises and build a global movement with others in the Green Economy Coalition.

With your help, we can enhance support to LGEs!

CANARI is seeking your help to deliver more on the ground support to LGEs across the Caribbean. Contact us to find out more. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why this platform?

CANARI has worked to support development of sustainable rural community livelihoods across the Caribbean since its start in 1989. Building on this work, since 2010 the Institute has been increasing its focus on supporting sustainable community nature-based enterprises with business development to enhance delivery of triple bottom-line benefits (economic, social and environmental) alongside good governance. 

This is a unique niche sector, and unfortunately invisible to mainstream support and financing initiatives. Yet CANARI believes that LGEs play a critical role in livelihoods and local economic development and are a pathway to green-blue economies in the Caribbean. We therefore are hosting this platform to raise awareness of the importance of the sector and its needs, provide support to LGEs themselves, and mobilise partners which can enhance support to LGEs.

Who is the platform intended for?

This platform will be used by:

  • Local Green-Blue Enterprises at all stages of development and all types, from one-person or small group informal enterprises to more established enterprises formally registered (including using for-profit, cooperative and non-profit models)
  • Business support organisations providing capacity building and incubation services (including non-profit organisations, governmental and inter-governmental bodies, and for-profit firms)
  • Financial institutions servicing the MSME sector, especially those with environmental, social and governance goals
  • Policymakers interested in enabling sustainable local livelihoods, the MSME sector, rural community development and inclusive green-blue economies
Why should I sign up to join the community?

By signing up, CANARI can send alerts or update users periodically about new additions to the platform.

How do I submit my own content?

Users can submit content using the “Submit content form”. User guidance is provided on that page.