ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – BRIAN BENOIT
Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) continues to create and nurture successful young entrepreneurs who can now tell their story to motivate their young counterparts. One success story to be told is that of 21 year old Brian Benoit who is destined to take the national instrument to unprecedented levels. “I grew up in the pan industry from the age of 7, and from then to now, I have not only fully developed my skills, but I am now able to impart important knowledge about the steel pan to young students” said Benoit, who has turned his dream and passion into a full-time sustainable business. In describing his experience with YBTT, he stated “the entrepreneurial training received assisted me in developing the financial aspects of the business as well as proper management of my finances. The life skills’ component of the training has also helped me in becoming a better person.” He has also successfully completed the five (5) grades of the Royal School of Music (London).
Benoit began to soar up the entrepreneurial ladder with the implementation of two (2) business models. One is the facilitation of training programmes related to the steel pan industry in both primary and secondary schools, whilst the second focuses on four (4) products which he developed and offers for sale throughout primary and secondary schools, a project which has been receiving excellent reviews from school principals. The first product is the Steel Pan Instrument Chart which demonstrates the various types of instruments that contribute to a final sweet melody! The second product is the Steel Pan Glossary of Terms which identifies and explains the meaning of all the terms used in the industry; the third is the Story of the Steel Pan which depicts how the industry started to its current evolution and success, and the fourth is the Ten-Step Process in the manufacture of the pan.
It does not stop there, as Benoit is set to officially launch the “Benoit Academy of the Steel Pan” next Wednesday 1st July, 2015, an institution earmarked to provide a broad range of training in areas such as music theory, arranging music, ear training, steel pan ensemble, sight reading, the making of a steel pan, the art and craft of the steel pan and not forgetting the history of the pan. The operationalization of the Academy starts with a “Steel Pan Camp” which runs from July 6th to 24th, 2015 – Mondays to Fridays. The camp caters for students ages 7 – 15 years, who will be exposed to training in the areas identified. Benoit’s vision for the academy is to become the global institution for steel pan development within the next five (5) years.
This business venture is indeed an historic one which sets the national tone for youngsters to explore the many entrepreneurial possibilities available within the steel pan industry. Benoit’s advice to young persons who may be thinking of taking the entrepreneurial leap “the sky is not the limit – if you have a dream or passion, pursue it. Don’t be fearful, because fear is a false evidence which appears real. Being an entrepreneur is hard work, but once you’re willing to go the extra mile, success is yours.”
By: Sandrine Rattan
Project Co-ordinator – Stakeholder & Media Relations (YBTT)
Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, June 25th, 2015