SmartTerm and Pennez Partner to Empower Educators and Female Caribbean Entrepreneurs

TRINIDAD, Port of SpainSmartTerm, the cohesive web and mobile school and learning management platform aimed at reinventing the way education is facilitated in the Caribbean recently partnered with Pennez, a company that helps children learn to read using artificial intelligence, on two projects in Trinidad and Tobago geared towards educators and women entrepreneurs. The projects commenced on July 8, 2019, and ended on July 23, 2019. They were funded by the Department of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs via the Meridian International Center, The Embassy of the United States, CANTO, and CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

The first project, the Educator’s Literacy Professional Development workshops, worked with 10 schools and trained a total of 62  educators. Educators were given trainings on topics of literary techniques, student engagement techniques, as well as 21st century learning  techniques. 

“We even visited Success Laventille Composite School with AJ Jagelski, Public Relations Officer for the US Embassy. AJ reinforced the Embassy’s current work with Success Laventille through the Alumni program, and it was a delight to have him join,” said Jayme Hoyte, Director at SmartTerm. 

Shortly after completing the Educator’s Literacy program in Trinidad,  The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program began in the sister isles of Tobago. The Women’s Program was held from July 14, 2019-July 23, 2019. The Women’s Entrepreneurship Program brought 20 female business owners for training on validating their businesses with the Lean Canvas, identifying and researching their customer base, and framing pitches for customers and investors. 

“Initiatives such as these are important because when you involve teachers, students and women into the development process of a society, you are impacting households, communities, and future generations,” said Jayme Hoyte.

At the end of the training in Tobago, 16 women pitched their businesses with the hope of showcasing them during CANTO’s conference; which would give them a chance to win prizes. The top six performing women were selected to attend CANTO’s conference and participate in the Caribbean Women in ICT Power Lunch and Pitch Competition. The event was dedicated to empowering women and featured panel discussions, presentations, and entertainment by women in ICT and entrepreneurship. 

The six female entrepreneurs of Tobago pitched their businesses to a panel of judges, and three entrepreneurs walked away combined with over $30,000 in prizes sponsored by CIBC First Caribbean International Bank.

”Being selected to facilitate and design content for both trainings was a humbling experience. Seeing the women pitch their businesses made me realize how important it is to continue programs like this, and I know that teachers, entrepreneurs, parents, leaders, and others can broaden the opportunities for these communities,” said Rebecca Dove, CEO of Pennez.. 

Of the six women who pitched their businesses, the top three pitches were selected. The first place prize went to Fanta Pierre-Sandy, the founder of Sandy’s Bath and Organics, winning $10,000 and a Macbook Air. Second place went to Sade Melville-Peters, the founder of 24 Degrees Below, a homemade ice cream company, winning $7,000 and an Ipad. The third place prize went to Leiselle Roberts, the founder of Petstars pet grooming services, winning $3,500 and a Smartphone.

“Programs like these do not exist in Tobago, and this is my first time receiving training about my businesses,” said a female business owner who participated in the program. 

“We sincerely hope that initiatives like this can continue to impact talented individuals who are overlooked, said Rebecca Dove. 

This project was a Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) funded by the Department of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs via the Meridian International Center, The Embassy of the United States, CANTO, and CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

About SmartTerm

SmartTerm has spent 3+ years researching and analyzing how the education system in the Caribbean can be improved. We provide school administration and students with a seamlessly integrated experience. The team and implementation experts work in an open-concept environment allowing us to provide tailored solutions to fulfill the needs of our clients. For more information on SmartTerm visit


About Pennez

Pennez provides products and services to address the reading challenges of children in grades Kindergarten through Eighth grade. Our vision is to restore the educational outcomes for young learners by inspiring youth to read & think.



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