Dr. Marcia Brandon
Specialising in women economic empowerment through entrepreneurship
Dr. Marcia Brandon is a social and economic development entrepreneur, who believes that peace within brings peace external. She strongly believes in the resilience and creativity that ladies add to the social, economic, cultural and political landscape of the societies in which they live and work. Women bring balance to their spaces and innovative thinking, nurture and in many cases "heart" to each situation.
Her motto "women give birth" supports her life work among women. She believes, because of her experiences, that women are able to bring things to life, make things simple and make things work, despite the challenges and the setbacks.
Dr. Brandon founded the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (COESL) in 2011 along with two other female social entrepreneurs. In 2015 under COESL, along with a female entrepreneur she supports, they founded the programme "Women of Resilience". COESL operational model is called Complementary Capitalism (CC). It is a model developed by Dr. Brandon and her team.
The model has 4 key main drivers with several indicators. The Ubuntuism philosophy fits very well with COESL's CC model.
For the past 20 years, she has helped over 4000 Caribbean and global young males and females as well as adults to start businesses and sensitized an estimated 30,000 in school and out of school youth as well as adults to entrepreneurship as a career choice. She has helped over 20 NGOs to start and grow in the region and led the NGO Barbados Youth Business Trust to sustainability before leaving its helm in 2013, after 15 years.
Through the Samaritans and other Crisis Centres in Barbados and around the Caribbean, she has counselled numerous suicidal, abused and otherwise troubled females, mostly ending in helping them to find solutions and alternatives for their challenges.
Using entrepreneurship as a livelihood and growth tool, she has helped well over 300 abused females to start and grow their businesses or move into part-time or full-time employment. She has assisted with removing battered and abused females and their children from their homes into shelters or otherwise safe places.
She was the only female to sit on the committee which developed the Small Business Act for Barbados. She was a member of the team which developed the CVQ standards for entrepreneurship in Barbados.
She introduced entrepreneurship to the CARICOM youth desk at the CARICOM Secretariat and facilitated the development of an entrepreneurship training manual and programme for regional youth called CEBO.
She was a member of the curriculum development entrepreneurship panel for CXC’s CAPE. She created and wrote the YEPEC project and was an integral part of the writing of the youth and women component of the PROPEL project. Marcia is a founding member and Acting Managing Director for Global Entrepreneurship Network Caribbean and founder of Caribbean Entrepreneurship Week.