Sharing the YBTT experience

JUST ONE minute into my conversation with performance management consultant, training facilitator and Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago YBTT mentor, Pearl Yatali Gonzales, was sufficient evidence of her passion to empower and support young people, particularly entrepreneurs.

Briefly describing her personality, she stated: “I believe that success is continuous learning; I am a fun-loving, caring and helpful person with a pinch of sarcasm.” Interestingly, the sarcasm has to do with Gonzales’ dislike for poor service behaviour which she believes is detrimental to the progress of any society.

Gonzales’ love for developing both young wantrepreneurs and existing entrepreneurs, was the greatest influence in her association with YBTT for the past five years.

She is YBTT ’s facilitator of the life skills’ component of the entrepreneurial training which is the foundation requirement for starting the entrepreneurial journey.

She is also one of its longest serving mentors.

As she puts it, “YBTT mentorship programme offers entrepreneurs their first step in networking, improves their ‘cold-calling’ skills, as well as an introduction to potential financiers and investors.” YBTT entrepreneur Keigan Lewis who has been one of Gonzales’ mentees for the past two years was happy to share his experience: “Gonzales was the best mentor that I have crossed paths with, as she was able to assist me in realising my greatest entrepreneurial potential.” Since facilitating this component of the training, approximately 60 young entrepreneurs have reaped the benefits from her tutelage, as they were able to discover their true being and effectively link that knowledge to their entrepreneurial pursuits.

Gonzales has been described by many, as a taskmaster who is determined to successfully measure outcomes aligned to the training.

“Through my involvement with YBTT , I am able to fulfill my personal mission, which is to add value to every interaction with every human being,” she added.

In commending YBTT on its efforts in transforming young lives, she affirmed: “YBTT ’s training programmes are designed to change mindsets, as upon successful completion, trainees are able to contribute towards building their communities, as well as start and/or enhance their entrepreneurial endeavours.” A major element that is demonstrated from early in the training, is that true entrepreneurial spirit relates to continuously thinking of new ways to solve problems and generate revenue, and not about creating a job for oneself.

Gonzales’ advice to young wantrepreneurs is to explore all opportunities presented to them both within and outside of their communities; to existing entrepreneurs, she throws out the challenge to attempt as far as possible, to meet the needs of their communities, with whatever products and/or services that they can offer, and in so doing, demonstrate the highest level of quality customer service.

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, December 31st, 2015

See link here: http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,221951.html

 

 

Entrepreneurial Profile – Adrian Niamath

Reviving family’s wood working business

Photo of Adrian Niamath

YBTT Supported Entrepreneur, Adrian Niamath

 

There is indeed a growing interest in the wood working industry by young entrepreneurs who have decided to become more exploratory and creative.

One such entrepreneur is Adrian Niamath, who, through his determination to make a difference, has decided to head the next generation of his family business.

Adrian’s Custom Furniture Designs is a household name in central Trinidad. For the past eight months, Niamath, a certified welder and joiner, took on the mantle of managing the business since the death of his uncle.

Niamath is no stranger to the business, as he worked assiduously with his uncle from age 16.

He noted, “Though I am formally trained, I learnt quite a lot from my uncle regarding the various intricacies related to this type of industry.” Working from an early age, has provided him with a broad range of experience, which has contributed to the diverse clientele which the business has attracted. Describing his customer-service strategy as par excellence, Niamath said: “Every item requested is custom-built to the specific liking of each customer.” Niamath has always had an interest in starting his own business.

However, he felt the need to enhance his business acumen, which influenced his contact with YBTT .

He explained: “The training received from YBTT was awesome and a great eye-opener. I was exposed to the various elements associated with the financial aspects of the business. I was also intrigued by the Life Skills’ component, which showed me who I really am.” Niamath’s entrepreneurial expertise is not surprising, as many of his family members were entrepreneurs including his grandparents.

Because of his creative mind, coupled with his quest for knowledge in his field, Niamath is continuously thinking of innovative ways to expand the business. In the not-too-distant future, he plans to incorporate metal work which would complement the existing products and services.

He also plans to restore the family’s furniture store which was destroyed by fire some 20 years ago.

Niamath’s advice to young wantrepreneurs as well as existing entrepreneurs: “if you would like to be a successful entrepreneur, don’t be afraid to take risks, and learn from your mistakes.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, December 17th, 2015

See story here: http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,221434.html