Antoniya Gulston, JumpSTART Graduate

“I gained lots of confidence and sharing a space with like-minded entrepreneurs also enhanced my networking capabilities. JumpStart is a life-changing program with positive trickle-down effects for young entrepreneurs.”

Antoniya Gulston always had a passion and thirst to contribute to the hospitality industry; she was officially trained at the Trinidad and Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute. She describes her stint at the TTHTI as extremely rewarding as she was able to establish connections with business partners who are able to assist in her navigation as a young entrepreneur. Trading as Johanna’s Hospitality and Event Planning Services, Antoniya provides an array of services ranging from catering and event co-ordination to the provision of service ambassadors as well as online and offline menu consultations.

Describing her pre-JumpStart experience..”I was all over the place with different ideas circling in my head and no clear focus; wanting to do a lot but fearful and nervous.” Thankfully my fears dissipated with the fantastic learnings offered by the JumpStart program. “I gained lots of confidence and sharing a space with like-minded entrepreneurs also enhanced my networking capabilities. JumpStart is a life-changing program with positive trickle-down effects for young entrepreneurs.” Antoniya boasts of operating a full-time business which started as a hobby three (3) years ago supported by a business partner and continuously growing. Antoniya’s entrepreneurial prowess sees her diversifying her business within the next two (2) years.

See stories like this and more in YBTT’s Annual Report.

Stephen Anan, JumpSTART Graduate

“The learnings offered by JumpStart made me think harder and become more progressive in the way I transact business; I feel more assured of myself and would recommend this program to all young entrepreneurs.”

Trading as Nutech Electronics established just over eighteen (18) months, Stephen Anan describes his motivations as being self-sufficient and driven by independence. He admits that before he was introduced to the JumpStart program his brain was scattered …”I was guessing and had no proper record-keeping arrangements in place; I was not focused and involved in too many unnecessary things that did not help my business.”

Graduating from the JumpStart program saw major improvements to his business including proper market testing, research, proper record-keeping and registration of the business. Feedback from customers have also been positive. He asserted “the learnings offered by JumpStart, made me think harder and become more progressive in the way I transact business; I feel more assured of myself and would recommend this program to all young entrepreneurs. What is offered in the program would help participants become more confident and empowered to navigate their entrepreneurial journey successfully.” As Stephen’s entrepreneurial prowess continues to evolve, he is working on increasing sales, customer base as well as create employment.

See stories like this and more in YBTT’s Annual Report.

Jonathan and Rianna, Entrepreneurship Power Couple

“Without Jonathan I cannot survive as I depend on his support heavily; because of his   flexibility, he can assist with deliveries and the same obtains when he is busy with repairs, I assist with the purchase of automotive parts and also work late nights.” This husband and wife team is determined to not only build successful businesses but also a strong legacy that transcends ascends across the entrepreneurial landscape. Trading as “Auto Legion” for the past eight (8) years, Jonathan admitted “my Dad was a mechanic and this is where my love for the automotive field started which has me highly motivated.”

Jonathan described himself as a science student who had very little knowledge about business. However, after completing the program, Jonathan boasts of reaching higher levels of business growth. “JumpStart helped tremendously in improving my record-keeping skills which were poor. I also learnt new marketing strategies that can enhance the brand of my business.” He also introduced new customer service strategies which saw a leap in his customer base. “I am convinced that my business is now heading in the right direction …thanks to Jumpstart.”

What started as a hobby six (6) months for Riana De Castro has now grown into a full-time business. “Spinkles and Dough” offers a wide variety of vegan specialties from sweet to savoury!

Riana’s motivations emerged from her mother, a baker for many years – who once operated a family bakery. “For many years, I worked in the marketing field but left my job to assist my husband in managing his business.” Riana was also a science student who did not have a business background, but through observation of Jonathan’s business, she learnt some skills. Her biggest takeaways from the JumpStart program was the internal and external activities which provided opportunities for continuous networking and engagement among the participants.

Supporting the goals of each other’s business is at the helm of their entrepreneurial aspirations. As Riana puts it “Without Jonathan I cannot survive as I depend on his support heavily; because of his flexibility, he can assist with deliveries and the same obtains when he is busy with repairs, I assist with the purchase of automotive parts and also work late nights.” For this young couple, the key to success is flexibility and understanding!  Looking ahead within the next two (2) years, this dynamic duo’s eyes are set on establishing a family bakery and an auto clinic.

See stories like this and more in YBTT’s Annual Report.