- Dec. 15, 2015
CARIBBEAN ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE BOOT CAMP OPENS IN BARBADOS.
Young people gathered in Barbados for a leadership and innovative entrepreneurship boot camp have been advised to see their business as a lifestyle and not a job, and to commit to seeing their vision realized.
The advice to 26 young people from 11 Caribbean countries, came as the group began the three-day Caribbean Young Leaders Entrepreneurshipl Boot Camp yesterday, May 01, 2015, (Friday) morning, at the Christ Church Parish Church Centre.
The participants were the winners chosen from among more than 70 entrepreneurs, aged 18 to 29, who submitted innovative proposals to the Caribbean Call to Action Entrepreneurship Challenge sent out by the Global Leadership Coalition (GLC), A Million for A Billion (1M1B), and the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable livelihoods (CoESL).
Guest speaker at the opening ceremony, attorney-at-law and former politician Lynette Eastmond, urged the entrepreneurs to trust each other, eliminate negative and discriminatory language and behaviour, and work together to come up with ideas and take action rather than complain about challenges or stumbling blocks.
The concept that entrepreneurship is more than just a way to make money was echoed by Co-founder of A Million for A Billion (1M1B), Manav Subodh; Managing Director of CoESL, Marcia Brandon; and Global Youth Ambassador and CEO and Co-Founder of Nanostar AMP Group Incorporated, Hashim Ruan.
Mr Subodh told the young people that entrepreneurship starts from having “a very strong vision of what your life is for [and] what would you like to stand up for”.
“Entrepreneurship is a calling, not a job . . . Once you get your calling, you won’t talk about a job,” he said.
Mrs Brandon stressed the importance of not concentrating solely on generating profits.
“A lot times we focus so much on money that we overlook people, and the value of people can never ever be overstated. You shouldn’t get caught up in constantly looking at profits and not looking at learning how to do things so you can make profits,” she told the attentive participants.
In his address to the boot campers, Mr Ruan told them that “business is a lifestyle” and they had to be committed to doing what was necessary, despite the challenges they faced.
Speaking from experience, he said: “You have to make up your mind to be a no-matter-what person; that no matter what it takes, no matter how long the road may seem or how tough the obstacles, you have a remember one thing – that you were born for a reason and God has a plan for your life.”
“You must understand your limits and learn to crawl first, then walk; flying is up to you,” he further advised.
Mr Ruan also urged the young entrepreneurs to look beyond just making money, stressing that if they were not making someone else’s life better in their endeavours, they were wasting time.
GLC co-founder Mary Symmonds acknowledged the volunteer business mentors for the boot camp sessions – Marcia Brandon, Ashley John, Shawna Rollins, Ann Cutting and Michelle Boisselle-Morris.
She thanked them for taking time out of their busy schedules to give back to the young entrepreneurs.
“That’s the way we build each other,” she said.
At the end of the boot camp, 10 semifinalists will be chosen to be mentored over a four-month period and will be provided with entrepreneurship training for two months.
Two finalists will then be selected to showcase their work at at a side event alongside the UN Conference in Sustainable Development ' in September 2015
- Dec. 15, 2015
Entrepreneurs from around the region got the rare opportunity to connect with Barbadian, regional and international mentors when the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development (CoESL) and the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) brought the two groups together recently.
The Mentors’ Connector Event preceded a three-day Caribbean Young Leaders Entrepreneurship Boot Camp in which CoESL partnered with the Global Leadership Coalition (GLC) and A Million for A Billion (1M1B).
Some of the entrepreneurs who benefitted from the Thursday, April 30, 2015 event at Bagnall Gallery, Pelican Village, were some of the winners in the Caribbean Call to Action Entrepreneurship Challenge. They got the chance to get up close and personal with the volunteer business mentors, some of whom were selected to serve as facilitators for the weekend entrepreneurship challenge boot camp.
“We’re helping them to build positive mindsets and change their behaviour towards entrepreneurship,” said Managing Director of CoESL, Marcia Brandon.
“So we had business mentors, social mentors, and corporate mentors – mentors who help to develop leaders throughout the Caribbean.”
Mrs Brandon said the initiative was in keeping with CoESL’s focus on developing people, being a force for good, preserving the planet and helping people to create peace.
The BEF’s Anton Shepherd explained that his role was to support the mentor/entrepreneurship relationship through the use of technology.
“The Foundation provides a portal for entrepreneurs to reach out to a cadre of mentors, ask questions and get the relevant responses,” he said.
The ideas of the 26 young entrepreneurs who were brought to Barbados for the Mentors’ Connector Event and the Caribbean Young Leaders Entrepreneurship Boot Camp include: developing biological soil treatment products for the agriculture and horticulture industries; collecting, desalinating and packaging Sargassum seaweed and selling to farmers to be used as fertilizer; creating a platform for stakeholders in agriculture to come together in a single digital space; recycling electronics; a club to promote healthy lifestyles among the youth; and career counselling and guidance.
Mentor Ashley John of St Vincent and the Grenadines, who was also one of the panelists who selected the winners in the Caribbean Call to Action Entrepreneurship Challenge, said the aim was to assist the entrepreneurs in transforming their ideas into real businesses.
“We’re working on helping them with the innovation, how to get their business plans put together, how to present them to investors, and also how to implement their businesses. Because at the end of the day we want to see that their businesses are actually implemented and running,” he said.
Another mentor, Reverend Ann Hamilton-Cutting of Barbados added: “I believe that we ought to help each other become the best that we can be, in terms of developing potential, and I think young people need that sense of support.”
- Dec. 15, 2015
Scotiabank and the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods’ (CoESL) Bridging the Gap (BtG) project has enjoyed major successes and significant impact through promoting and celebrating entrepreneurs as well as developing regionalism. Over 400 young entrepreneurs and business mentors have been impacted by the project which was launched in November 2014 in commemoration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) Caribbean. In St. Kitts & Nevis one young entrepreneur reported “I am excited to receive access to this type of business networks and potential opportunities for increased trade. The exposure and the opportunity to network and connect into the future were the most valuable part of being invited to this Scotiabank funded event. I made 7 new connections and now I am going to get support from the CoESL and Beyond Timeless. This event has put a human face to Scotiabank for me. I want more!” Hashim Ruan – NanoStar Ltd.
The project was launched on November 14, 2014 in Barbados with a series of Early Morning Connector Events, one held by each participating country. The project will culminate with a series of specialist business mentoring sessions, in each project country, for young entrepreneurs, by Scotiabank experts.
The sessions are set to start in June 2015.
- Dec. 15, 2015
On Tuesday, November 24, 2015 at 9am Kenyan time (7 hours behind the Eastern Caribbean) Ms. Akosua Dardaine Edwards delivered a breakfast POWER TALK to the Kenyan Climate Innovation Centre leader and team, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders. Ms. Akosua Dardaine Edwards is a Trinidadian, an accomplished entrepreneur, author and Founder/Managing Director of Enabling Enterprise, a globally focused organization helping females to create their own livelihoods. Enabling Enterprise is a valued and valuable partner of the Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (CoESL) based in Barbados, working in the region. This dynamic, female entrepreneur shared the lessons she has learnt on her journey in life.
CoESL’s Managing Director, Dr. Marcia Brandon, is a Management Committee (MC) member of the CCIC and the current chairperson of the MC. Dr. Brandon e-introduced Mrs. Edwards to Mr. Edward Mungai, Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya CIC and the link was made. Everton Hanson is the CEO of the CCIC which is based at the SRC in Kingston, Jamaica. Other members of the MC are Immediate past chairman Dr. Ulric Trotz – Deputy Director & Science Adviser - Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre; Meghnath Gosein – Corporate Secretary and Ronald Dubrisingh, Executive Manager, Research, Development and Innovation – Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI), Dr. Cliff Riley – Executive Director and Mrs. Mona Whyte – of the SRC. The CCIC is a climate change project presently being executed by a consortium comprising CARIRI in Trinidad and the SRC in Jamaica.
In July 2015, Dr. Brandon visited the Kenya CIC, with the assistance of the World Bank and met with its leader and team. The CCIC has supported over 10 climate tech entrepreneurs with grant funding and over 200 with entrepreneurial development support through its regional hubs. .END.