Branson Centre enters the next phase of evolution under new leadership

Branson Centre enters the next phase of evolution under new leadership

Branson Centre Caribbean, the leading scaleup business accelerator in the region, is pleased to announce the appointment of Lauri-Ann Ainsworth as the organization’s new CEO.

Current CEO Lisandra Rickards will officially pass the torch this coming January. “After seven amazing years at the Centre, and three as CEO, the time has come for me to shake things up. I believe deeply that we should redesign our lives every few years in order to fully explore our mission in the world, ” said Rickards. “As I enter this next phase to focus on my own evolution, I want to thank the Board, our partners, the team, our dynamic group of entrepreneurs, and the entire Virgin family for the honour of being part of something much greater than myself.”

Achievements during her tenure include pioneering the organization’s shift from working with startup to scaleup businesses, creating a pipeline of venture investment for a large pool of institutional capital within the Caribbean, and relocating the Centre’s base of operations from Montego Bay to the country’s business hub, Kingston.

“I leave the Branson Centre in very capable hands,” Rickards said of the incoming CEO. “Lauri-Ann carries with her years of experience in developing the Caribbean’s entrepreneurial landscape; her visionary thinking and leadership capabilities around development, partnerships, fundraising and communications, make her ideal for the role”.

Pioneering a holistic approach to entrepreneurship

Lauri-Ann Ainsworth transitions into her new role as CEO from being the Centre’s Development and Communications Director for the past three years.

Ainsworth will further optimize operations as Branson Centre continues to serve its growing pool of entrepreneurs by ensuring continued world-class output, and increasing the organization’s impact on economic growth in the Caribbean.

“I’m excited about the future of the Branson Centre. I will take a holistic approach to entrepreneurship development within my role, by enhancing our already stellar programme. I believe it is crucial to develop the whole entrepreneur so that they are prepared to scale in all areas of their businesses”. 

Ainsworth continued, “I am honoured to step into this new role as CEO which has always been occupied by strong female leaders and will continue to build on Branson Centre’s legacy of making an impact on Caribbean entrepreneurs and economies.” 


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