ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – BRIAN BENOIT

ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – BRIAN BENOIT

 

Brian Benoit's Press Photo

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

 

ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – LA TOYA BURGESS

ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – LA TOYA BURGESS

La Toya 1

“YBTT has helped me tremendously in becoming a young successful entrepreneur. The company’s training and mentorship programmes are excellent” so said La Toya Burgess,  who is also heartened by YBTT’s “After-Care” support for entrepreneurs. According to Burgess, “your entrepreneurial success is dependent upon the support and additional resources you receive both at the start of your entrepreneurial dream and after you’ve started your business. This is critically important.” The owner of Burgess Mathematics Classes which was established since 2006, Burgess has been a mathematical whiz from childhood. “I just love the logical aspect of Mathematics.” She attained a Grade I in her CXC examinations, and also holds a BA in Education specializing in Mathematics for Secondary Schools.

Mathematics can be a challenging subject for many, and so Burgess was determined to assist both students and adults in better understanding the subject. Burgess’ love for the subject, as well as her willingness to share that much needed knowledge is reflected through the many mechanisms she uses to impart information. “Mathematics is a practical subject and you cannot read it for success. I utilize manipulative exercises and incorporate technology into my teaching methods. I also encourage students to research You Tube and seek additional information that would assist them in understanding the basic concepts” said Burgess.  Approximately nine (9) years ago, she began visiting people’s homes to conduct classes, a task which she has continued even up to today, in addition to managing her business, which has a current enrollment of 15 students.

Within the next five (5) years, Burgess hopes to expand her teaching into additional subject areas, thereby employing more teachers to support her efforts. “My educational facility would cater for preschoolers up to secondary school students, and would provide the broad range of important subjects including Mathematics and English Language” said Burgess.

Burgess’ advice to young entrepreneurs “always complete what you’ve started as it is common for most young persons to leave tasks incomplete for many reasons. You must ensure that you accomplish your goals. Remember that YBTT is there to provide the holistic support needed by young entrepreneurs.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

Project Co-ordinator – Stakeholder & Media Relations (YBTT)

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, June 18th, 2015

Entrepreneurial Profile – Joshua Mangroo

Entrepreneurial Profile – Joshua Mangroo

Invest with caution

 

Joshua Mangroo“I am a young Caribbean entrepreneur who is fascinated with telling visual stories.” This was the beginning of my conversation with 27- year-old Joshua Mangroo, who was proudly supported by Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) when he started his entrepreneurial journey approximately two years ago.

Mangroo’s business entity, Nine Breaker Ltd, specialises in digital media consultancy to many facets of the national community from individuals to community groups to organisations.

As Mangroo puts it, “My entire life has been centred around being creative and doing things differently, and I believe that my love for the creative industry has propelled me in this direction.”

He provides an integrated suite of services to his clients including web design, photography, graphic design and the production of promotional videos. Navigating the entrepreneurial ship is usually challenging for many, and as a young entrepreneur, Mangroo has had to endure many challenges including being a victim of a recent robbery.

“One of the things that I’ve had to face, is the truth that it’s only me who will bear the full weight of my vision.

Despite how much I try to express what is in my heart to someone else, no-one will truly understand,” said Mangroo who seemed quite passionate by this utterance.

But how can entrepreneurs prepare for unexpected occurrences which can sometimes hinder their progress? According to Mangroo, “You need to develop a system that would assist you in remembering your purpose and reason behind what you’re doing; whether it is a journal, video log, or even having it written on your walls. As an entrepreneur, you always need to fight for what you believe.”

Looking towards the future, Mangroo will continue to assist in building people and their businesses.

“I see many great ideas throughout this beautiful twin-island Republic, but the market is tight and good graphic design is costly.

This poses a problem for local start-ups, and that is the gap that I intend to fill by giving them the competitive edge,” said Mangroo. Because of his understanding of the environment within which entrepreneurs operate, Mangroo usually combines web design, photography, graphics and promotional videos into affordable packages for his clients, which are also aimed at building their brand.

When asked about his advice for young entrepreneurs, Mangroo responded, “It takes a special breed of people to become entrepreneurs, and if you think you have what it takes, I will leave you with this little piece of advice – be careful of how you invest in your business, as spending a lot of money does not mean that you do something well, or that it makes a strong impact. Rather learn to be creative with the little you have, and enjoy the organic growth of your business.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

Project Co-ordinator – Stakeholder & Media Relations (YBTT)

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, June 11th, 2015
http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,212490.html

 

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS GAIN INSIGHT INTO NIB BENEFITS!

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS GAIN INSIGHT INTO NIB BENEFITS!

DSCN0114

 

Recognizing the importance of  the role of the National Insurance Board  to both employers and employees, Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) recently invited the NIB to conduct an educational workshop for its entrepreneurs. Participants were exposed to specific areas such as Employer Obligation – what is expected of them as employers, as well as their responsibility to both their employees and the NIB.  Details on the twenty-three (23) benefits provided by the NIB were also shared.

In addressing the participants, Public Relations Assistant at the NIB, Sheldon Joseph stated that “the National Insurance Board is more than a pension provider. Our role is to ensure that all  citizens – both employers and employees are aware of their entitlements.”

This initiative is all part of YBTT’s mission in ensuring that young entrepreneurs are kept abreast of important information that can impact their businesses.

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

Project Co-ordinator – Stakeholder & Media Relations (YBTT)

ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – ANDREW JULIEN (Published on June 04, 2015)

ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – ANDREW JULIEN

Andrew Julien's photo

For the past fifteen (15) years, Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) has been providing holistic support to young persons within the age group 18-35 years, who are interested in starting their own businesses. The suite of services offered include Training, Loan Financing and Mentoring.  

Trading as “Blue Earth Re-Cycling Technology Company”, Andrew Julien has been one of the earlier beneficiaries of YBTT’s support. By virtue of its genesis, Julien’s business would be considered by many to be unusual, as it involves collection of bottles in the Beetham Landfill for resale to Carib GlassWorks Limited along with other suppliers. However, he has been able to traverse the path of success, to the extent that he is now able to motivate and inspire other youths in converting their ideas into sustainable business endeavours.

Julien’s entrepreneurial journey began in early 2010 with his first business “Seminars Plus for Self-Development” which started off as a hobby. “I taught people how to use Astrology for self-development along with motivational speeches and stories to help them become better individuals” said Julien. In the midst of his entrepreneurial trek, various challenges emerged which did not deter but rather increased his discipline and self-determination. As he puts it “I spoke to the Lord and asked for the gift of discernment – the ability to identify an opportunity and run with it.”

Many businessmen have alluded to the fact that business ideas can generate from anywhere and at any time, and this was the same for Julien, who got the idea for his business during his employ at a hotel. “Whilst picking up the bottles, I got an amplified aura which caused me to question not only the importance, but also the potential profitability in the collection of bottles” stated Julien. He then connected with Carib GlassWorks Limited and the rest is history.

Despite the fact that he receives accolades from many corners of the national community, Julien has a huge vision for the expansion of his business which would generate employment opportunities for other aspiring young entrepreneurs. His advice to youths “Learn to stay focused and avoid the distractions.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

Project Co-ordinator – Stakeholder & Media Relations (YBTT)

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, June 4th, 2015