Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago Represented at Caribbean Regional Mentoring Workshop

For Immediate Release               JANUARY 20, 2015



Port-of-Spain, January 20, 2015 – Eight representatives from seven Caribbean countries participated in an advanced ‘train the trainer’ mentoring workshop, as part of an international development programme in the region, funded by USAID.


Hosted in Bridgetown by The Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) and Youth Business International (YBI) the workshop facilitated development of the capacity of participating organisations within the Caribbean to train volunteer mentors who are essential to the success and development of aspiring young entrepreneurs.

The event was part of a much larger and ongoing programme that aims to generate sustainable employment in the region and drive the creation of a shared community of best practise among the regions longstanding community of Youth Business Trusts (YBTs).

YBI Head of Mentoring, Hoang-Anh Thi Le and YBI Mentoring Consultant and Subject Matter Expert, John Cull, conducted the workshop which aimed to help the Caribbean participants of various Youth Business Trusts to work together to build strong, structured Mentorship Programs in their respective organisations.

Lead trainer John Cull set the main objective for the week’s workshop: “We hope to share best practices, skills and information on how participants can build the best business mentorship programmes in the world.”

Youth Business International (YBI) is a global network of independent non-profit initiatives designed to foster youth entrepreneurship. Active in more than 40 countries around the world, the YBI network helped in excess of 14,000 young entrepreneurs to start businesses last year.

Youth Business Trusts throughout the Caribbean, many of which were founding members of the global YBI network, offer training, financial and mentorship support to young entrepreneurs to build their own businesses, thus allowing them to become self-sufficient and key contributors to their respective economies.

Volunteer mentors donate their time and expertise with these YBTs to support young entrepreneurs with their start-up businesses. Retaining a motivated group of mentors is essential for all the participating organisations and   The YBI training session YBTs provide the necessary training, guidance and support to help mentors be the best forms of support they can be to young entrepreneurs.

“I hope to apply all I have learnt to improve the effectiveness of our Mentorship Programme when I return to the Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT).  I hope to spread the love of mentorship to all,” said training participant, Gina Granado, Marketing and Communications Officer at YBTT.

Other participants included Gregory Fergusson and Cardell Fergusson (Barbados Youth Business Trust), Mauricia Fessal (Youth Business St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Brendan Defoe (Dominica Youth Business Trust), Dyrud Lionel (St. Lucia Youth Business Trust), Tanesha Patterson (Jamaica Youth Business Trust) and Hyacinth (Get Set Entrepreneurial Programme).  Also present, was one observer, Ana Gessaghi, from Fundacion Impulsar, Argentina.

The Youth Business International continues to work closely with each member organisation within the Caribbean region to help them improve the effectiveness of their services and to ensure learnings are shared and best practices are applied.

From L-R: Hoang-Anh Thi Le, Gregory Fergusson, Cardell Fergusson, Tanesha Patterson, Brendan Defoe, Hyacinth Augustine, Mauricia Fessal, Ana Gessaghi, John Cull, Dyrud Lionel and Gina Marie Granado.


About Youth Business International:  Youth Business International helps young people to start and grow their own business and create employment. We are a global network of independent non-profit initiatives operating in over 40 countries.

For further information: Please see for more on YBI or contact Gina Marie Granado (Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago) at or call   1-868-781-8231.

Youth organisations agree on young entrepreneurs alliance for Caribbean and Canada


Youth entrepreneurship organisations from thirteen Commonwealth countries across the Caribbean and including Canada have agreed to form a regional alliance of young entrepreneurs. The group will be called the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs-Caribbean & Canada (CAYE-C&C).

The Alliance will be modelled on the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE), which was formed in 2011 and brings together young entrepreneurs from Commonwealth countries in Asia. The decision was unanimously reached by twenty organisations at a forum hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat from 10 to 12 December 2014 in Barbados.

The proposed mission of the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs-Caribbean & Canada (CAYE-C&C) is to:

  • Empower and nurture young people through access to essential resources including entrepreneurship training, financial and technical support, networking and mentorship opportunities;
  • Advocate for policies conducive to creating a strong entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem; and
  • Gain global recognition as the voice and face of young entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and Canada.

The Alliance will focus on building support for youth entrepreneurship, promoting knowledge-sharing among member organisations and stakeholders, providing information to young entrepreneurs, and facilitating regional trade for young entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the forum, Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat, welcomed the groundswell of support received for establishing the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs-Caribbean & Canada.

Ms Ellis said: “This Alliance will be an invaluable network for young entrepreneurs in the Caribbean and Canada, and help to build trading opportunities and represent their interests across the 53 nations of the Commonwealth and beyond. At the Commonwealth Secretariat, we are committed to the cause of youth enterprise, and we will continue to support and connect young entrepreneurs so that their voices are heard by decision makers at the highest levels.”

Matt Sweeting, Chairman of the Organization of Young Professionals in The Bahamas, said: “As we strengthen our resolve to empower youth entrepreneurship nationally our partnership in the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs is a tremendous value-add in that direction. We equally see the value in creating working international relationships with other Commonwealth Caribbean countries to share in best practices.”

Erica Wynter, President of the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica, added: “YEA Jamaica is very excited about this great initiative. We look forward to many years of successfully connecting young people to business and advocating for them across the Caribbean region and Canada.”

Countries represented in the Alliance are: Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, and St Vincent & the Grenadines.

Representatives from the Commonwealth Asia Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs (CAAYE) and the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Alliance assisted with the forum, providing support and inspiration to the young entrepreneurs from the Caribbean and Canada.

List of signatory organisations:

  • GET SET Entrepreneurial Programme (Anguilla)
  • GARD Centre (Antigua & Barbuda)
  • Barbados Youth Business Trust
  • The Barbados Vagrants & Homeless Society
  • Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, Barbados Ministry of Culture, Sports & Youth
  • Dominica Youth Business Trust
  • Grenada Young Entrepreneurs Project
  • Dynamic Youth of Grenada
  • Grenada Junior Achievement
  • Guyana Youth Business Trust
  • Jamaica Youth Business Trust
  • Young Entrepreneurs Association of Jamaica
  • Saint Lucia Youth Business Trust
  • St Kitts & Nevis National Entrepreneurial Development Division
  • St Vincent & the Grenadines Youth Business Trust
  • Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago
  • Organisation of Young Professionals (The Bahamas)
  • Futurpreneur Canada
  • Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Livelihoods (Barbados)
  • Youth for Epic Change (Barbados)