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

Entrepreneurial Profile – Jabari Lynch

Jabari

The old adage that the family who prays together stays together can also be likened to family support strengthens your entrepreneurial journey. This is definitely the testimony of 25 year old Jabari Lynch, another of YBTT’s success stories, whose greatest asset associated with his success, is the extraordinary support he receives from his family as he traverses up the entrepreneurial ladder!

Trading as “Lynch’s Nuts and Stuff”, Lynch shared his childhood experience whilst growing up in an entrepreneurial home. “From the age of 7 years, I saw rows of bottled nuts; whilst my Dad baked the nuts, my Mom would place the labels on the bottles. My first thought was, if my parents can, I can, because they made me.” Lynch continued “I understood the concept of wealth, and as a result, I got a piggy bank and started saving; though my parents supported me, I used some of my savings to purchase extra items which I needed.” 

Lynch’s entrepreneurial journey started at the age of 14, when  his fellow students enjoyed the tasty nuts that he sold whilst attending secondary school. He firmly believes that nuts is a staple food item which must be included in one’s daily diet. As he puts it “there is a sociological correlation between agriculture and nuts, as well as procreation and fertility.” Though the business is a united family concern, Lynch decided to enhance the product with the introduction of additives including cranberries, raisins and pineapples with a spicy flavor, which is the business’ unique selling point!

In sharing his YBTT experience , Lynch stated “it was a totally positive experience as I’ve learnt a lot, and was the beneficiary of the organization’s full suite of services including training, funding and mentoring; the aftercare support is tremendous.”

Lynch’s current customer-base comprises of  35 stores which include supermarkets, mini-marts, barber shops, etc. and  is aiming to increase his client base to approximately 300 by the end of the year. Lynch has a huge vision for his business “I intend to develop a succession plan with the capacity to continuously generate employment and create wealth.”

Lynch’s number one philosophy in life is to please God even through mistakes and failures! His advice to other young persons “as young as you are, pursue your entrepreneurial dream; persevere in faith and put everything before God.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Entrepreneurial Profile – FRANCISCA BROWN-MATA

Francisca Brown-Mata (new press photo)It has been proven over time, that entrepreneurship can sometimes permeate positively throughout the rungs of families. Testifying to this is Francisca Brown-Mata, another of YBTT’s success stories. “I grew up watching my Mom preparing meals for the neighbours, who would in turn display smiling faces as a result of the enjoyment they received from the delicious meals, and that brought a joy to her heart.”  This was the beginning of Brown-Mata’s entrepreneurial dream! It is also a known fact that domestic circumstances produce some of our best entrepreneurs. As Brown-Mata puts it “I sold delicacies as a child in order to generate additional income to attend school, as I faced challenges whilst growing up.”

Today, Brown-Mata stands proudly as an established caterer! Trading as “Francisca’s Delights”, Brown-Mata’s motto “a tasty delight in every bite” transcends into every aspect of her business, as she believes that “there must always be a correlation between the look and taste of food.” In addition to acquiring cooking skills from her mother, Brown-Mata pursued courses at Cruise Inn and the Ministry of Community Development, which have both  contributed to her proficiency in the preparation of  Indian, Creole, Chinese and Italian dishes. Determined to do the best in her field,  she also pursued a course  in “Cake Decorating’ specializing in flowers.

Brown-Mata described her YBTT experience as extremely helpful! “YBTT has contributed towards my success – they provided me with training, funding and mentorship; the organization also gave me the drive and motivation needed for my continued success, and for all of this I am eternally grateful.” There is a common thread in the service provided to her clients which is a combination of a unique experience of taste, quality and quantity which they look forward to on every occasion! Brown- Mata’s most common mode of operation is through orders for cakes, sweetbread and pastries. She also credits much of her success to her husband who she describes as her tower of strength and inspiration!

Brown-Mata’s advice to young persons seeking to achieve “life may be a struggle, but at the end of the day, always try to turn the negatives into positives, and you would be on the road to success; in terms of the obstacles, either go around them or push them aside.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Entrepreneurial Profile – Nikita Legall

Nikita's Photo

Many young persons were born with high levels of creativity and dexterity, and therein lies their entrepreneurial  potential.  Nikita Legall, one of YBTT’s success stories, is one such individual who began her entrepreneurial pursuit from as early as 10 years. “I would ask my Mom to purchase boxes of pencils which I took to school for re-sale to students. I generated income of $30.00 daily” said Legall. The holder of  a BSc. in Chemical and Process Engineering and a Post-Graduate Dip. in Environmental Engineering, it is quite obvious to many, that Legall would have been employed in a large organization as an Engineer, but she begs to differ! She likens the discipline of Engineering to that of Entrepreneurship which is based primarily on problem-solving.

Her experience with YBTT has led to the establishment of a very unique business. According to Legall “In September 2014, I approached YBTT with two (2) business ideas – ‘Honey Production’ and ‘Introduction of a Mobile App.’ They advised me to pursue the Honey Production because of its uniqueness, provided me with the required resources i.e. funding, training and mentorship, and the rest is history”! She continued “the training programme offered by YBTT is excellent, especially the Life Skills’ component which assisted me with my personal development. Their After-Care support is exceptional.” Interestingly, Legall’s Mentor, Rachel Renie, the Managing Director of Market Movers Limited is also one of YBTT’s success stories. Legall is extremely grateful for Renie’s Mentorship coaching which she has described as “the right fit for my business.” Legall owns an Apiary and expects her first batch of honey within the next six (6) weeks.

Legall recognizes that given the type of business, she would not be able to satisfy the full demand, hence she has developed a network with other beekeepers who provide the required support in this area. Legall’s vision for the business is huge “I intend to establish my own brand, as well as expand the business with the introduction of other bee-related products within the next 3 to 5 years.”

Legall’s advice to young persons who may be thinking entrepreneurial “an idea does not create a person; you have to be willing to take advice from other entrepreneurs who have already walked that path, attend as much training programmes as you can, grow as much as you can, and success will be yours.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, July 9th, 2015

ENTREPRENEURIAL PROFILE – Satyan Sagramsingh

Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago (YBTT) Carving out his dream

From a qualified primary schoolteacher to the owner of a successful wood-working business, 35-year-old Satyan Sagramsingh is a perfect example of a true entrepreneur – an individual who pursues his passion and takes calculated risks.

Sagramsingh, another of Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago’s (YBTT) success stories, described the YBTT experience as rewarding and empowering.

“The main reason why I approached the organisation, is the after-care support and the mentorship programme offered which helped me tremendously,” he said. He holds an Associate Degree in Project Management and also pursued several courses in networking and computer repairs.

Sagramsingh’s entrepreneurial testimony is diverse. He remained in the teaching profession for seven years, then left to further his studies in information technology.

However, Sagramsingh always had a passion for the sawmill industry in which he worked for a short period. His thirst to continuously acquire new knowledge about the industry kept growing, hence his attendance at the annual trade show in July 2008 which was hosted by the International Woodworking Federation in Atlanta, USA.Upon his return from the trade show, Sagramsingh’s love for woodworking increased.

“I’d do the woodworking whilst looking for a job in the IT field. I purchased basic tools, and was able to build a clientele,” he said.

Today, SLS WoodWorking is an established business entity fully outfitted with sophisticated tools and equipment. Sagramsingh is also cognisant of the importance of using appropriate technology to provide the highest level of customer service for his clients.

His tool collection includes a computer numerical control tool for the purposes of 3D carving and a small moulder for wood moulding.

“In addition to the self-fulfilment and satisfaction that you receive from being an entrepreneur, you are also in control of your own destiny,” said Sagramsingh.

From the establishment of the business since 2010, his major support comes from his family and his significant other. As he puts it, “They have all contributed to the success of the business to date.”

He has a huge vision for the business which is also influenced by continuous research in the industry.

“I intend to become fully involved in mouldings and eventually establish my own sawmill,” he said.

Sagramsingh’s simple advice to potential young entrepreneurs: “You have to try and don’t be afraid to fail.”

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,213550.html

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

 

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

Blue Earth Recycling Technology | Andrew Julien

Blue Earth recycling Technology goal is to create a conscious awareness about the environment through the form of a eco-friendly revolution. The revolution is getting people to to sort there trash ,its going to start with children beginning in schools.then expand to the private and public sectors Continue reading