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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Innovations in Mas Project

There are approximately 450 micro, small and medium business involved in the production and creation of Mas in Trinidad and Tobago, many of these bands you may have never even heard about. The ICT Innovation in Mas project aims to create a one stop Carnival Hub (website) for all these bands, as a first phase of what is a holistic project  which received over US$300,000 in funding from the Inter American Development Bank’s (IDB’s) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF).

More about the Innovation In Mas project:

The proposed project seeks to strengthen and promote growth and development of the small and medium size businesses in the Masquerade sector. The project will implement a web-based platform, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival HUB to enhance their business models and their competitiveness.

This Trinidad and Tobago Carnival HUB will act as a tool to provide substantial business support and services to improve productivity and efficiency levels through specific online functionalities that will for example reduce raw materials costs, increase the research capabilities for design, market the products and services nationally, regionally
and internationally, and support vertical and horizontal integration within the sector while infusing innovation in their business practices.

The project is aligned with the Strategic Plan developed for the Masquerade Industry developed by the National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF) to solve the imbalances that exist within the sector and critical issues impacting on the industry’ s sustainability and global competitiveness.

The NCDF has estimated that in Trinidad and Tobago there are approximately 450 MSMEs engaged in the production/promotion of costumes and masquerade bands. These may be grouped into 3 categories, medium enterprises that are involved in local and international carnivals (large bands), small enterprises that are involved primarily in Trinidad and Tobago Carnival (medium bands) and microenterprises that are involved solely in Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, most of which do not produce a band but are involved in some discrete service such as costume design, specialist fabrication or costume production (small bands and artisans).

Eligibility of applicants (who may apply)

In order to be eligible for participation on the pilot project phase 1 the following criteria must be fulfilled:
- MSMSE is currently involved in the production of masquerade costumes / production and promotion of carnival masquerade bands on a commercial basis.
- MSME is or will become a member of the National Carnival Development Foundation before the signing of the beneficiary contract.
- The MSME beneficiary must engaged in export or demonstrate a willingness to do so.
- The selected MSME beneficiary must be willing to participate in the project and share information on project results and benefits, including sales data, realized as evidenced by the willingness of the MSME principals to enter into an MOU with the TTCSI.

Deadline to apply to be part of this program is NOVEMBER 12, 2010 (tomorrow), you can register online  HERE

So spread the word to all the Costume Makers, Designers, Road Management, Wire Benders, Seamstresses, Band Leaders and anyone else involved in the production and creation of Mas in Trinidad and Tobago.
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