Miss Alicia Nicholls, B.Sc., M.Sc., LL.B. is a trade and development consultant and founder of Caribbean Trade Law & Development, a consulting firm specialising in international trade and development consulting. She is also a Consulting Legal Researcher with FRANHENDY Attorneys.
Alicia is passionate about issues dealing with the development of Caribbean and other small states. Her professional career includes extensive trade research and consulting for private individuals, NGOs, and international organisations. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Political Science (First Class Honours), a Masters of Science (M.Sc.) in International Trade Policy with distinction and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) with Upper Second Class Honours. She also holds the FITT Certificate in International Trade credential.
Alicia is a member of the Ottawa-based Forum for International Trade Training (FITT), the Michigan-based Academy for International Business and the Caribbean Studies Association (CSA). She is also the CARIFORUM Representative/Trade Expert with the Brussels-based African, Caribbean & Pacific Young Professionals Network (ACP-YPN). Alicia is multilingual and is conversational in French, Spanish and Portuguese. When she is not hard at work, she is spending time with her loved ones, reading, exploring other cultures or travelling the world!
SB-C: Tell us the why behind your business. AN: My business is a consultancy practice specialising in international trade and development consulting, with emphasis on small states, particularly in the Caribbean region. I saw starting my own practice as a way to harness my interests and training in international trade, law and policy, while simultaneously utilising them for the advancement of regional development.
SB-C: What major challenges did you face when setting up your business and how did you overcome them? AN: A major challenge was becoming known especially as a young person. However, I was able to overcome this through networking and writing articles on my blog which helped people to become familiar with both me and my work. Becoming known has also helped me to expand my network and meet some truly amazing people who are doing great things, such as the wonderful lady who is currently interviewing me!
SB-C: Who has been the greatest influence on you since starting your business and why? AN: There are so many persons who have been extremely encouraging throughout my business career and it seems unfair to have to choose just one. I would definitely have to say my parents, friends and a supportive spouse. I would say though that one of my greatest career achievements thus far has been becoming part of the FRANHENDY Attorneys team founded by Ms. Francoise Hendy-Yarde. I have long admired her work and I regard her as an inspiration and mentor. Another person I admire and whose influence I would be remiss to highlight is my former law lecturer, Ms. Nicole Foster, who taught me during my Masters and my LL.B. and helped to shape my love of trade law. I owe her a debt of gratitude for her unwavering encouragement, advice and support.
SB-C: What is the vision for your business and where do you see it 5 years form now? AN: My vision is to continue to provide sound consultancy services and advice to entities and people of the Caribbean region, including both in the public and private sector. Five years from now, I would like to expand to other regions, including in the Pacific which faces similar challenges to us in the Caribbean but also similar opportunities.
SB-C: Our community motto is share your secrets and share your success. Please share 1 secret and 1 success with our community. AN: One "secret" is the power of networking. Attending conferences, business functions and cocktails may seem mundane at first but is a worthwhile investment. It is a good feeling when you can pick up the phone and call an industry leader for advice, or have work referred to you because of a connection you had with that person you may have met at a conference or online. A big success for me was being asked to speak at conferences in several Caribbean countries based on articles I had written on my blog. It showed me that people appreciated my work and it gave me motivation to continue and expand my consulting business.