Young people are developing a sense of independence and more than ever are moving towards developing their own business ideas and becoming successfully entrepreneurs.
So says Chris Harper programme manager for the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation. He was speaking on the eve of the Gala Awards at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre, to be held on Friday, November 18, 2011 at 6.30pm and cohosted by the Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology and Innovation (CADSTI).
Harper indicated that the BEF would be awarding the winners of the BEF $20 challenge and in a joint effort with the Cave Hill School of Business; awarding those youth who had successfully won the Valeant International (B’dos) SRL Business Plan Competition.
Both competitions focused on providing young people with an avenue to start their own business as well as the mentorship and business support to ensure its continued success.
“Young people recognize the value of being involved in entrepreneurial activities. They have seen the economic situation in the world and are ready to ‘grab the bull by the horns’ and take charge of their own financial stability. They can no longer depend on the government or on the private sector for job security nor should they have to.” Harper added.
Of the 203 students, aged 14 – 15, from across 14 public and private schools in Barbados who successfully signed up for the $20 Challenge; four (4) businesses were chosen to receive awards.
- Boobie Cakes, operated by Ariela St Pierre-Collins and Isabella Forsberg from the Codrington International School. This initiative was created to raise awareness on Breast Cancer and raise funds for the Little Pink Gift Foundation.
- Bow Wow, that focuses on Making and selling healthy, home made dog biscuits; operated by Madison Bell and Calypso Barnard from the Codrington International School.
- Bunches of Bows, formed by Aerin Prescod, Joanne DaSilva and Cherise King from Queens College. Their business designs, creates and sells hair bows. This business has been specially commissioned to create fashionable bow ties in national colours to be worn by the judges at the Gala awards.
- SheSellsDesigns a partnership between Nicola Barnard and Catriona Rogers from St. Winifred’s, which designs creates and sells business cards.
The Valeant International (Bdos) SRL Business Plan Competition was an initiative managed by the Cave Hill School of Business. Students were encouraged to write a business plan to start up and manage a distribution company, owned by Valeant, to dispense over-the-counter products in Barbados, with the possibility of exporting these products to other Caribbean countries. Contestants had the opportunity to choose from a wide array of products.
This programme will see youth pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate studies in the areas of Business/Finance and Biotechnology, at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus receiving BDS$45, 000 in prize money for their business plans.
Caribbean Premiere Distributors Ltd., operated by Kevin Payne, Aesia Worme, Lizette Ward and Jason Hinds will take home the first prize of $20,000. Other winners were KinePerfekt Biochemie, Heritage Cosmeceuticals Ltd and 3Touches.
Harper said “Initiatives such as these foster the development of enterprising young people and are critical at this time of our nation’s development. The BEF will seek to provide whatever support we can and work with our stakeholders such as the Cave Hill School of Business to ensure the continued success of these businesses. Through hosting our Gala Awards we can recognize these young people and perhaps encourage other Barbadian youth to develop their business ideas”
The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation formed in 2010, was born from a vision to make Barbados “The #1 Entrepreneurial Hub In The World”. The focus of the Foundation is Growing Sustainable Entrepreneurship through advancing the key Foundation Pillars of: Finance, Government Policy, Education and Skills, Mentorship and Business Facilitation.
The Caribbean Diaspora for Science, Technology & Innovation (CADSTI) is an international body of professionals who have an interest in the development of the Caribbean region. One of its goals is to facilitate the networking that will bring resources from the Diaspora to the Region for the mutual benefit of all parties.