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    Meet Julie Belliard, a passionate architect and small business owner in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. She crafts personalised gift boxes filled with handmade products that she sells online.

    Amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic, Julie recognised the immense value of her e-commerce expertise, especially for local artisans facing difficulties in selling their handicrafts. Driven by her commitment to empower artisans and creators, Julie launched Yo Soy Local, a digital marketplace that helps them sell their products effortlessly online.

    Julie's inspiring vision received a crucial boost when she participated in MicroPitch, a dynamic pitching forum where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business plans to potential sponsors, including local microfinance institutions. Her exceptional idea earned her the prestigious award of 'Best Entrepreneur,' a pivotal moment that laid the foundation for her remarkable venture.

    MicroPitch is the fruit of the Caribbean Technical Assistance program, financed by the European Investment Bank and executed by the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. This initiative attracted applications from 600 entrepreneurs across 15 Caribbean countries, ultimately selecting 72 visionaries to present their ideas to a network of 25 prospective sponsors.

      Discover how the EIB improves lives around the world.