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Aug 15, 2019

Innovate Belize 2019 Summit

The first ever Innovate Belize 2019 Summit was held at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City. The focus of the summit is to foster opportunity by creating a platform where individuals can come together, collaborate and discuss current innovative trends. Technology has a huge influence on how we live and work and the session was used to inspire participants to look towards a bright future. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

TAS Belize’s Mervin Budram and William Neidlinger of Banyan Tree Global Marketing in the U.S. have partnered with Meridian International, Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative and the U.S. State Department as well as BELTRAIDE to host the first ever Innovative Belize 2019 Summit. The initiative brings together local and international businesses and industries as well as public and private sector stakeholders and entrepreneurs to dialogue on innovative opportunities to boost the economy and the country.


Mervin Budram

Mervin Budram, Co-founder, Innovate Belize 2019

“What’s the future of Belize and what’s the future of technology and how do we bring the future into now and really bottom-line, communicate, talk dialogue. You can’t have innovation if there is no communication and so that’s kinda what the event is geared towards—creating a platform for that. It’s literally getting those little tips, nuggets. It doesn’t have to be big change, it doesn’t have to be big adjustment; it’s little information, little nuggets that you can quickly implement to bring forth change in what you are doing.”


Budram believes that if you change the way you think, you can position yourself to attract the resources that you need to expand your business in terms of products and services. It means thinking outside the box; being willing to take risks in an era where customers are more exposed to technology. Inspirational Speaker Doctor John Eckhardt says that he hopes to influence participants to embrace change head on.


John Eckhardt

Dr. John Eckhardt, Presenter, Innovate Belize 2019

“The human being is designed to be a thermostat; a device that has the power and the authority to change its environment. But so often, we settle for so much less; we are simply thermometers that read the temperature of the room and cope with it. So we don’t bring innovation and change; we rather deal with the environment and everything stays the same. So a nation changes when the identity of the individuals begin to change. There are seasons of synergy where all things are coming together and converging and working together and those are seasons of accelerated change.  We cannot be risk adverse; we cannot be afraid of risk which means we need to be courageous, which means our heart needs to change. We need to stop seeing ourselves as victims, but rather as agents of change. And as long as we are reticent to embrace a fresh identity that’s an innovation into our personal lives, into our personal self awareness or self vision. So I am dealing with the internal stuff.”


To help with the technical and advisory support for entrepreneurs is where the Small Business Development Centre comes in. Manager Monique Usher says that the centre encourages entrepreneurs to merge traditional concepts with innovative ideas.


Monique Usher

Monique Usher, Manager, SBDC Belize

“Mervin Budram from Tas Belize is one of our longstanding clients and so last year we had shared with him an opportunity by the U.S. State Department and it was through this opportunity that he capitalized on, he was able to participate in an exchange programme. And so for us at the centre, we encourage and foster entrepreneurship and given that he is a client of the centre, we saw the value in supporting him for this initiative. So our role has been assisting him with organizing the event, identifying potential participants and also providing support in pulling off such an event. So for us it is hallmark for us at the centre to see our client create something that is organic and assisting us in connecting and creating that entrepreneurial ecosystem that Belize longs for. We have the business advisory services and so we look at assessing the client to see where they are and what interventions we need to offer to them. And today’s event speaks on innovation and at the centre, that is something that we are encouraging entrepreneurs to look at traditional ideas and how can I enhance that idea and look at pivoting to make that investment more worthwhile for the client.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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