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As part of the activities for Financial Information Month 2013, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) will host its second annual Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) Business Innovation Contest for Secondary School and Community College Students.

The bank says that this year, the students are required to conceive an innovative business idea geared towards a specific business, social or economic need and/or problem which they have observed in their respective countries.

The idea should be articulated in a supporting business plan which a panel of judges will assess mainly on innovativeness, viability and potential impact.

The theme for Financial Information Month (FIM) 2013, “Reshaping our Future. Starting Now!” recognises the need for new and vibrant business ideas which address the socioeconomic challenges which confront the region, the bank further said in a release.

The contest harnesses the essence of this theme by challenging the young people of the ECCU to take steps to reshape their future through innovation.

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The key objective of the contest is to support the ECCB’s mandate to promote growth in the currency union. The contest is open to students from the eight member countries of the ECCU.

The first place regional winner will receive a cash prize of $3,000; second place $2,000 and third place $1,000.

The school with the most entries will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and the top entry from each country which does not place among the regional winners will receive a Meritorious Award of $500.

The deadline for the submission of entries for the ECCU Business Innovation Contest for Secondary School and Community College Students is Nov. 29. The winners will be announced in March 2014 at the prize giving ceremonies which are held at the respective schools.