With blue skies and soft sands welcoming every visitor, the tropical island of St. Lucia is already home to a thriving travel and tourism industry. But behind the colorful umbrella drinks and straw hats is a workforce transitioning into a digital services-based economy.
Starting up in paradise is not just a pipe dream—the following are the top 9 reasons why St. Lucia is an ideal place for tech startups to set up shop.
9. A tech savvy population and ambitious generation of future technologists.
This small island’s 183,000 people is an untapped pool of talent; these human resources could give new tech startups the winning edge over their competitors. The local government—through various programs and initiatives—is cultivating this advantage by empowering the island’s youth with adequate knowledge to be more competitive within the global market.
8. Modern infrastructure and public resources.
Living in paradise may have its perceived trade-offs, but not so much if you’re a St. Lucia inhabitant. Various programs for jumping starting the economy have spurred infrastructure projects for improving the lives of citizens; today, well-paved roads, air-conditioned buildings, proper utilities, and waterways are in place .
7. A stable government and economy.
St. Lucia has a stable democratic government and growing economy—in fact, the island has been consistently one of the freest economies in the Caribbean, ranking second with a 70% index in 2016’s Economic Freedom Index. Additionally, the island’s legal system guarantees freedom of speech, assembly, and association.
6. Affordable access to a skilled workforce.
St. Lucia is ideal for bootstrapped startups unwilling to compromise on quality of talent. The island’s workforce is English-speaking and highly adept at learning new skills and technologies.
5. Strong intellectual property/patent protection and a history of protecting investments.
Tech firms live and die by their intellectual property (IP) and local startups have strong protections in this regard. The presence of various regional and international brands as well as St. Lucia’s Commercial Court ensure strong enforcement of IP/patent rights and the protection of investments.
4. Daily inspiration from the environment.
With stunning, scenic backdrops and perfect weather, there’s never a shortage of inspiration—and its right at your startup’s doorstep. Imagine taking a break from coding and watching endangered leatherback turtles in their natural habitat from your office window.
3. Ample tax incentives for local businesses.
To facilitate economic development, the local government has created attractive incentives to persuade startups to relocate/start up on St. Lucia. For example, entrepreneurs can get a tax holiday of up to 15 years
and duty-free concessions on imports.
2. An up-t0-date information/communication service backbone.
A common, foundational concern for tech startups is mobility and internet service quality. St. Lucia’s telecommunications providers operate on modern networks offering wifi, fiber, 4G, international private leased Circuits (IPLC), and more.
1. A relaxed, customer service-focused atmosphere.
A key differentiator for aspiring tech startups is an early focus on customer service. For many Silicon Valley firms, being caught up in the technical whirlwind and business of innovation causes them to lose touch with customers. As a tourist destination, St. Lucia’s culture revolves around customer service and satisfaction—this mindset is pervasive among local businesses, including startups.
In short, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to nurture your future tech unicorn in the ideal setting, this island nation may just be the place for you. A prime business destination and emerging market situated between Europe, the U.S., and Latin America, St. Lucia is small in size but big on tech startup incentives—not to mention a host of modern amenities and history of economic, political, and social stability.