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

Women of business strengthen alliances

THE CONCEPT of strategic alliances has always played a pivotal role in not only supporting but also strengthening female entrepreneurship. Female entrepreneurship formed a major part of the conversation of GEW efforts globally, and Trinidad and Tobago was also part of that experience.

A cross-section of women from various sectors converged recently at the Teaching and Learning Complex, University of the West Indies (UWI), to engage in a fruitful panel discussion themed “Using Strategic Alliances to Strengthen Female Entrepreneurship.” Hosted as a collaborative effort by Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago (PLOTT ) and The Institute for Gender and Development Studies, UWI , the event was moderated by Dr Paula Morgan, Head of Department, IGDS St Augustine unit, UWI. In opening the discussions, Morgan stated: “This initiative demonstrates the seriousness with which the UWI facilitates its outreach activities in support of independent and aggressive research. Every young person should be prepared to become an entrepreneur.” The panellists comprised industry experts who are also established female entrepreneurs including Dale Laughlin, chairman of Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT ); Gillian Wall, founder/chairman and group CEO – IBB Holdings and co-founder of PLOTT ; Jennifer Jones-Morales, PhD candidate, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of of Management (UWI); Antoinette Maund, chairman, ANMA Holdings Ltd and Anthea Walcott, Owner of Flowers to Treasure.

In her contribution Wall stated that “simply ‘belief ’ in oneself causes all uncertainty to disappear; there is no right time for an entrepreneur – start now! “An entrepreneurial spirit should be inculcated in every employee; when more business owners become comfortable with young professionals sharing their dreams, more businesses will be established and of course, the country’s gross domestic product will increase.” Wall also described the importance of the social impact of entrepreneurship created by social entrepreneurs who use commerce to positively impact the environment within which they operate.

Laughlin used “Feminine Capital”, a book authored by Barbara Orser and Catherine Elliott, that focuses on unlocking the power of women entrepreneurs, as the basis to showcase the success of some of YBTT ’s female entrepreneurs including Jineal Chichester, Nikita Legall, La Toya Burgess and Asiya Mohammed, all of whom are testimonies to the power of entrepreneurship.

By: Sandrine Rattan

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


Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, November 26th, 2015

See link here: http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,220457.html

Linking BG’s Social Performance to Sustainable Enterprise Development

YBTT Feature - BG and GEW (Published on Thursday November 19, 2015 - Newsday)BG Trinidad and Tobago (Platinum Sponsor of GEW 2015), through its operational diversity, has proven its corporate worth beyond the global LNG business. The evidence of this is profound according to the founding tenets of its Social Performance Policy. “At BG Group, we have fifteen (15) business principles that set out our core beliefs, values and behaviours that govern the way we do business” said Leslie Bowrin, the organization’s Head of Social Performance.

Bowrin continued “social performance describes the way in which we meet our commitments to society; these principles state that we work with neighbouring communities which benefit from our presence; we also listen to those communities, and we support Human Rights within our areas of influence.” The organization firmly believes that social performance begins with recognizing the impact that its business activities would have on the communities and societies within which they operate, that can be either positive or negative. “In our social performance policy, we set out our belief that in order to be effective in meeting our objectives, we need to establish and maintain effective relationships with interested and affected stakeholders, avoid or minimize the negative impact of our activities, and create and deliver opportunities that maximize our business benefits to society” said Bowrin.

There are some specific areas of focus that are aligned to the organization’s social programmes, which seek to promote sustainable development within its neighbouring communities as well as the wider national community. “We believe that sustainable development in energy-based economies such as ours, depend on maximum utilization of our hydrocarbon resources for the development of skills, knowledge, competencies and expertise to generate economic activity in other sectors” stated Bowrin.

BG’s core areas for its social investment include building awareness of and promoting Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and careers; Youth Entrepreneurship and Training and Livelihood Development. The holistic development of young people remains a  high-priority item on the organization’s agenda, which has resulted in a global partnership with Youth Business International in the U.K. Describing the partnership, Bowrin articulated “supporting entrepreneurship is a key part of BG Group’s social investment strategy to promote employment in the countries where we work; over the next few years, this global partnership aims to introduce 8,000 young people to entrepreneurship, create 1,500 new businesses and generate 2,600 jobs.”

This strategic partnership enables the BG Group to improve the business skills of young people, support young people to start or grow a business, provide employment opportunities for thousands of people who lack the skills to work directly for BG Group or in BG Group’s supply chain, help grow and strengthen the local small and medium-sized business sector, respond to expectations from communities for economic benefits and skills transfer, through job creation and enterprise development and demonstrate BG Group and YBI’s expertise in supporting enterprise development.

Long-term sustainability is also a critical success factor for the organization. As Bowrin puts it “when we talk about establishing and maintaining effective relationships, our aim is to ensure that host societies and host communities are broadly happy for us to proceed with our investments and activities, and to ensure that they remain broadly supportive in the long run.” The organization believes that it must secure a “social licence to operate” from its stakeholders. Though Governments provide the regulatory context for its operations, a range of other stakeholders also influence the organization’s ability to meet its business objectives successfully.

Entrepreneurial development builds long-term sustainability, and is thus a major area of focus for the organization. Bowrin emphasized the importance in the context of providing greater support towards youth entrepreneurship. “BG identifies entrepreneurship particularly youth entrepreneurship as a critical area of focus for economic development. We prefer not to restrict our focus to high-risk communities as such, but rather to promote youth entrepreneurship wherever there is the drive and capacity to embark on this road. Entrepreneurship emerges from many varied sources and our partnership with Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) is committed to unearthing and developing entrepreneurs nationwide.”


By: Sandrine Rattan

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


Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, November 19th, 2015

Celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week with T&T Host – YBTT

YBTT Feature - YBTT and GEW (Published on Wednesday November 18, 2015 - Guardian)

Mr. Shedron Collins, General Manager, Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago


Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT) is an accredited member of Youth Business International (YBI), an international network of youth business programmes. YBTT, with the support of the business community, helps young persons to work for themselves by providing access to loans, entrepreneurial training and business mentorship. Sitting at the helm of the organization as the General Manager, is Shedron Collins, a young and visionary professional, who, through his developmental journey with the organization since 2009, has a clear understanding of the entrepreneurial needs of young persons between the ages of 18-35 years who come into contact with the organization on a daily basis either through social media, visits to the company’s website, or walk-ins.

According to Collins “whilst we understand that all young persons can’t become entrepreneurs, YBTT is committed to providing a solid foundation for young Wantrepreneurs by exposing them to a holistic entrepreneurial training programme which we facilitate on an on-going basis.”  He continued “entrepreneurship starts with a renewed mindset understanding that once you step into the entrepreneurial ring, the sky is the limit to achieve your biggest business objectives; YBTT’s most important offering is the opportunity to take risk and become an entrepreneur.”

The After-Care support provided by the organization is one of its major assets, a service that is rarely provided by other institutions. Collins added “it is our belief, that the after-care approach towards entrepreneurship is an ideal, as you’re able to monitor and measure the success and/or failure of the business, and in so doing, use appropriate interventions to treat with the relevant issues.”

Because of its astuteness in addressing the needs of young entrepreneurs, the organization has been the Trinidad and Tobago host of Global Entrepreneurship Week for the past five (5) years, an initiative which is considered to be its flagship. GEW, which is celebrated in more than 160 countries in November of each year and endorsed by world leaders including US President, Barack Obama, is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch start-ups and bring ideas to live, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.

As Collins puts it “during our period as the T&T host, we have been successful in not only galvanizing support from major corporate sponsors and partners, but we were also able to influence and motivate individuals into becoming entrepreneurs; our major role as Host, is to bring as many partners on board as possible.”

GEW in Trinidad and Tobago has been growing tremendously as entrepreneurial stakeholders have been demonstrating their commitment in a profound way. In addition to the annual partners such as the Arthur Lok Jack Biz Booster, Civilian Conservations Corp.,Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development), Conec Professional Services, Export Centres Limited,  Junior Achievement of Trinidad and Tobago, Launch Rockit, The Lily Foundation for Human Development (Tobago), NEDCO,  University of Trinidad and Tobago and YTEPP, there are new partners who have endorsed the significance of GEW through their participation for 2015. These include a cross-section of Rotary Clubs, the Institute of Gender Studies (University of the West Indies), Powerful Ladies of Trinidad and Tobago, Jason Charles and Associates and Yo Pro(a global NGO).

GEW promises to be a national conversation beyond the week of November 16th – 22nd, 2015. To be part of this journey visit the GEW website at tt.gew.co.

Layout 2


Photo of Ty Richardson

Global Entrepreneurship Week is noted for showcasing the creativity and ingenuity of both GEW partners and  stakeholders, but more particularly, it demonstrates the enormous potential that resides within young people desirous of owning businesses. YoPro, a global non-governmental organization whose interest is targeted towards developing and preparing individuals for both paid-employment and self-employment, is set on making an indelible mark along the entrepreneurial landscape for GEW 2015.

According to YoPro’s Founder and CEO, Ty Richardson “the organization usually hosts event experiences for young professionals to meet, engage and connect with each other in a meaningful and productive way.” He added “many young persons need assistance in being able to effectively sell themselves to various stakeholders; notably, a large percentage of the youths who the organization works with, are employed but manage small businesses in their spare time.”

It is against this background that the organization  would be facilitating a workshop themed “The Perfect Mentor Pitch” on November 17th, 2015. “This initiative is aimed at providing strategies to address these gaps; a total of 12 young professionals will be allowed five (5) minutes to pitch their business ideas to a panel of industry experts who will deliberate and share the outcomes in a helpful manner.”

At the end of the experience, participants would be better positioned to present their ideas and/or business proposals to stakeholders including Banks and Investors with utmost confidence as well as having the understanding that they would be able to move their business venture to the next level.

To become a partner, send us an email at srattan@ybtt.org.


By: Sandrine Rattan

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


Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, November 12th, 2015


GEW on the Promenade

The success of entrepreneurship lies at the core of ensuring that all the dots are connected so that both existing and future entrepreneurs would be able to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape successfully. During our interactions with entrepreneurs, we have found that many of them are still unfamiliar with the myriad of support services that are available.


Themed “Building Your Entrepreneurial Connectivity” Global Entrepreneurship Week carded for November 16th – 22nd, 2015 is meant to be the springboard to intensify the connectivity required to create an enabling environment for our young entrepreneurs. As the T&T host of GEW, YBTT continues to collaborate with the key stakeholders who support and assist our entrepreneurial community at varying levels. According to YBTT’s Chairman, Dale Laughlin, at the core of GEW 2015 is a series of activity-based events that give entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect, learn and use the skills needed to grow their businesses.  We start on Friday, November 6th, with “GEW On The Promenade”, a Connectivity Event that brings entrepreneurs and support organizations together to show and talk about their products and services.”


On Friday 6th November, 2015, these stakeholders will converge on the Brian Lara Promenade to provide a creative experience for participants particularly secondary school students. Sharing the space together with YBTT, will be Benoit’s Academy, Civilian Conservation Corp., Conec Professional Coaching Services, Council for Competitiveness and Innovation (Ministry of Planning and Development),, Export Centres Limited, Jason Charles & Associates, Launch Rockit, National Entrepreneurship Development Company Limited, Ninebreaker Media Studios, The Lily Foundation for Human Development (Tobago), University of Trinidad and Tobago, YoPro and YTEPP.


Entrepreneurs who have benefitted from the services of these stakeholders as well as those who are thinking of venturing into the entrepreneurial realm, would be on hand to articulate on their respective initiatives, and in so doing, receive the much needed to advice to begin their entrepreneurial journey.


As we attempt to strengthen the entrepreneurial curve, we are issuing a call to action by Wantrepreneurs, New Entrepreneurs and even Entrepreneurs who have had both success and failure in their entrepreneurial endeavours, to attend this event which will definitely be a renewed shining light!


By: Sandrine Rattan

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


Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, November 5th, 2015


GEW Media Launch – Keynote – Mrs. Indera Sagewan-Alli, Executive Director, The Caribbean Centre for Competitiveness (UWI)(OCT. 28TH, 2015)

 Moving from Entitlement to Empowerment


GEW Media Launch - GEW Media Launch - Keynote - Mrs. Indera Sagewan-Alli, Executive Director, The Caribbean Centre for Competitiveness (UWI) (OCT. 28TH, 2015)


Good morning ladies and Gentlemen. Let me start by thanking the organisers of this year’s T&T chapter of “Global Entrepreneurship Week” Youth Business T&T (YBTT) for inviting me to share with you, at this inaugural media launch, some thoughts on “Entrepreneurial Opportunities in our current Socio-Economic Landscape; particularly as it pertains to Young people.”


From the outset, I want to place on record that ours is an economy that is employment not entrepreneurship driven. Since independence, successive governments have implemented a singular “state led dependency model of development”.


Our people whether college graduates or high school dropouts, have an expectation of finding a job almost as an entitlement. And, with the largest contributor to our GDP (energy) generating employment for only 3 percent of the labour force, and other productive sectors not realising sufficient growth, people have looked increasingly to the state to provide employment. Papa state has not disappointed.


Yes there have been verbal articulations on the importance of private sector investment, diversification and in more recent discourses; creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. But we have done little more than played children’s hop scotch with these things.


And so, courtesy state intervention in the labour market, we boast an official unemployment rate in Trinidad and Tobago of approximately 4 percent. Notwithstanding, youth unemployment and underemployment is closer to 20 percent, with female youth unemployment even higher.


And, of the 600,000 plus persons in the labour force, approximately 200,000 are employed in government “make work programs”, according to UWI economists. With youth featuring heavily in this figure through programs such as OJT, YAPA, MUST and even URP and CEPEP.


Economic good fortunes via oil and gas got us here.


Where will be one year, two years from now? Given:

  • That the current declining fortunes from oil and gas
  • Contraction in other labour intensive productive sectors; manufacturing, agriculture, tourism
  • Employment cuts in the energy sector
  • The negative recovery prognosis for oil and gas
  • Lethargic growth in the global economy


All of this translates into a reducing capacity of the state to sustain its efforts at employment generation. Sadly, there are little expectations that employment opportunities will be readily available in other sectors, largely because we have not prioritised economic diversification beyond oil and gas.


The question then is, wherein lies the hope for the Youth of our nation? Is it in self-employment? Youth-Business? Youth- entrepreneurship?


Caricom Secretariat Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin La Rocque has expressed concern about the rising levels of youth unemployment. He concludes and rightfully so “that this shows a mismatch between the skills set that are necessary, and those being taught.” He goes on to offer a solution;  that we must

“broaden offerings within our general education system to promote creativity and innovation,” Easier said than done.


Ambassador La Rocque is but one of a myriad of leaders-  local and regional-, mouthing these very sentiments, but none of them have moved beyond words to creative and I dare say necessary intervention! And so, the youth is left to intervene on its own behalf.  Youth Business T&T is clearly one such intervention. I salute you.


You see, youths, better than their elders, understand that it is more than educational reform to promote creativity and innovation and a matching of skills training to labour market needs that is required. They know that that will only get you a job when what you want is to be the generator of jobs!!!


In effect, education reform has to do more than capitalise on catch phrases made popular elsewhere, it has to start with the end in mind. If we want a different expectation from graduates then we have to set the required goal at the outset. To illustrate, you cannot train persons “to find a job in the labour market” and at the end of the training say, “go forth and be creative, be innovative, be an entrepreneur, start a business, when the training he received did not prepare him for such action” The natural born entrepreneur is a minority, a gem as rare as diamonds. The majority must be trained to become entrepreneurs. An innovator is not an entrepreneur. The entrepreneur is the one who sees the commercial value in the innovation and has the risk taking mind-set to press forth, prepared to fail and try again or hit the jackpot and try again with other ventures.


It is no wonder that Trinidad and Tobago has one of the lowest rate of new business start- ups in the world.


MSMEs are the bedrock of sustainable growth in most economies (In Trinidad & Tobago, SMEs numbered 18,000 in 2010, contributing nearly 28% to GDP and employing 200,000 persons (approx. 30 percent of the labor force). Of the total, 91% MSMEs in T&T, 75% are micro enterprises. We are not doing sufficient to grow this important business sector.


MSMEs suffer significant constraints; most notably financial. In Trinidad and Tobago only 11% of MSME start-up funding comes from the banking Sector while 70% comes from personal savings. The financial market is characterised by:

  • high commercial bank interest rates,
  • risk aversion by banks,
  • perception of MSMEs as “high risk” and “unbankable”,
  • investment costs higher than market costs,
  • “buy and hold” culture in shares market,
  • paucity of financial/accounting information on SMEs creating difficulty for banks to assess credit worthiness,
  • high administrative or transaction costs of lending to SMEs due to small volumes and lack of economies of scale,
  • a failed venture capital model,
  • a heavily bureaucratic process to access Institutional guarantees and funding and
  • a legislative model that is large business focused.


What do we do then? Throw our hand in the air in despair? I imagine many have done so. But choosing to be hapless victims is not the gumption that characterises entrepreneurs. So, as Trinidad and Tobago gets ready to participate in this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week”  : the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch start-ups and bring ideas to market,” let us bring some ideas to market on how we can move the Trini-psyche from employee to employer, on how we can truly build an entrepreneurial economy:

  • Education for entrepreneurship– Entrepreneurship education from secondary to tertiary level.
  1. developing sound business models
  2. studying the markets

III. assessing the risks involved their plan

  1. designing and implementing business continuity plans
  2. Leadership


  • University reform; from pure research to applied research and commercialization
  • Corporate venture capital initiatives (Social Corporate Responsibility
  • Public venture Capital Fund managed by experienced entrepreneurs with strict accounting procedure
  • Public crowd funding platform


These are but a few suggestions if implemented could go a long way in building a truly entrepreneurial society, thereby giving hope to our young people and incentivising them to be the champions of industry and sustainable economic development.

GEW Media Launch: Remarks Mr. Julian Henry, CEO, NEDCO




On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management of the National Entrepreneurship Development Company Limited, I am pleased to congratulate the YBTT on the successful launch of another instalment of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in Trinidad and Tobago. The National Entrepreneurship Development Company (NEDCO) is delighted to once again partner with you as we launch the GEW 2015.


As you know, NEDCO is charged with the development of our citizens by empowering individuals and communities to attain financial independence through Entrepreneurship, with special focus on the small business owner. We recognise the importance of organisations like the YBTT and the Global Entrepreneurship Week programme in providing additional support to local entrepreneurs.


NEDCO remains committed to this partnership as we believe there is an opportunity for effective synergies among all the players in the local Entrepreneurship landscape. This will serve to cement the desire to harness the still largely untapped creative potential of our citizens and develop a sustainable sector which can be a viable alternative revenue stream to our national economy – especially given the present environment of decline which the market is currently facing.


This I believe is now the most important mission for Trinidad and Tobago.


We must understand how important it is to diversify our economy and create new industries that will replace the oil and gas sector as the main revenue earner for our economy. Now is the time to develop entrepreneurship.


We also need to appreciate that this is one of, if not the most important missions for Trinidad and Tobago for the next ten to fifteen years. That is, to discover and develop the next “big” industry.


In order to achieve this we must as a nation, create a clear pathway, with a clear starting and end point, through which each new entrepreneur can follow, without confusion, uncertainty or the lack of proper information or guidance about where to go and what type of service he/she should receive.


To create this pathway, we must therefore coordinate all the components; and they already exist; NEDCO, YBTT, i2i, CARIRI, UTT, Arthur Lok Jack, YTEPP etc, into a singular, instructive, non-competitive, seamless entity that delivers – in the proper sequence and proportions – to the Entrepreneur.


The only challenge or limitation to the developing, eager young entrepreneur should be the level of creativity and hard work that they are willing to put into their business idea.


NEDCO has a very clear vision for Entrepreneurship and is serious and focused on service and development of quality products and quality clients.


We shall continue to work together with the YBTT on this and any other venture where we can share NEDCO’s expertise in the area of Training, Business Advisory, Mentorship and Financing to the Small and Micro Entrepreneur.


Once again I will like to thank you for extending an invitation to NEDCO to be part of this Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 and wish you every success.


I thank you.



GEW Media Launch: Remarks from Mrs. Laughlin, Chairman, YBTT



Good Morning!  It is a great honour to officially launch Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 – an event hosted by Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago (YBTT) that will be celebrated from November 16th to 22nd, 2015 in more than 160 countries around the world.


“There has been a global explosion of interest in helping nascent entrepreneurs with brilliant ideas – but they need stronger ecosystems to help them unleash those ideas; through better co-ordination and collaboration, we are empowering the next generation of game-changing start-ups with the ability to scale globally.” These words of Jonathan Ortmans, President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network, which leads GEW each year, give context to YBTT’s plans as we host GEW for a sixth year. One year ago, we brought entrepreneurs together with the major stakeholders in the support ecosystem and the challenge to “Get Connected…Act Now”.


This year our GEW theme is “Building Our Connectivity”! Research continues to show that entrepreneurs learn from interacting with one another, particularly at the early start-up stage. Our theme thus calls on our local entrepreneurs to continuously strengthen their connectivity by investing in their relationships, networks, and partnerships.


There are a couple of new dimensions to GEW this year.  One is our National Survey, “Public Perception of Entrepreneurship In T&T” in which we seek to discover how the wider national community perceives the services currently being offered by the support ecosystem stakeholders and to find out what additional needs exist. Our plan is to compile the results of this survey into a working document that we will then present to each stakeholder so that we can address the issues and gaps identified.  Let me at this time extend sincere thanks and appreciation to the Unit Trust Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago who has agreed to support us in this initiative.


At the core of GEW 2015, though, is a series of activity-based events that give entrepreneurs the opportunity to connect, learn and use the skills needed to grow their businesses.  We start next Friday, November 6th, with “GEW On The Promenade”, a Connectivity Event that brings entrepreneurs and support organizations together to show and talk about their products and services.


On Monday 16th November we celebrate the official start of GEW with our Opening Ceremony and Youth Symposium, “Entrepreneurs Linking Entrepreneurs”, to be held at the Radisson Hotel.  This event is designed to reveal


the many opportunities for creative entrepreneurship that this sector offers, particularly to young entrepreneurs and will give particular focus to the Fashion Industry, 3D Animation and our national instrument, the Steelpan.  Fifth and Sixth Form students from selected secondary schools across T & T will join us for this Symposium.  We are privileged to have as our special guest speaker, Lisa Wickham, CEO of Imagine Media International Limited and one of the EY Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year finalists in the T&T Chamber’s 2015 Competition.  In addition several of YBTT’s own creative entrepreneurs, including Joshua Mangroo and Brian Benoit as well as one of YBTT’s Mentors, Alicia Charles, who will facilitate a “Creative Entrepreneurship” workshop.


I hope that this preview of some of the GEW 2015 events excites you to attend and to help us spread the word.  All of this becomes possible through the generous support of our dedicated stakeholders, some of whom are here with us today.  This year we acknowledge in particular the contribution of our GEW Platinum Sponsors, BG Trinidad & Tobago Limited and USAID.  In addition we recognize with gratitude First Caribbean International Bank and the Unit Trust Corporation as well as our long-standing GEW partners including

  • UTT
  • The Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business
  • Junior Achievement T&T
  • Launch RockIt
  • And welcoming this year PLOTT, the Powerful Ladies of Trinidad & Tobago as well as the Rotary Clubs of Maraval and St. Augustine.


We at YBTT intend to continue the entrepreneurial conversation beyond November 22nd and into 2016 as we celebrate our fifteenth year as an NGO.  Our message to T&T’s young entrepreneurs is that we believe in you.  Your creativity, innovativeness, passion, determination and courage are the qualities that will make you successful as entrepreneurs. YBTT’s role as a support organization is to join with policymakers and others in the ecosystem to create the enabling environment that supports your efforts.


Let me end by saying a big thank you to you all.  We are all partners in the entrepreneurial ecosystem sharing a common goal to support our young entrepreneurs to start-up, scale-up, strengthen and sustain. Let us continue to collaborate to ensure that more and more young people know that the support ecosystem exists, see it as relevant to their needs, have a quality experience every time they access it and have a steady supply of success stories to motivate and empower them. 


To the members of the Media this is a special thank you for your support in telling our story. At the end of this event, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of the GEW 2015 stakeholders and their schedule of activities.


Thank you all.




Conec's managing director, Jennifer Gibbons-Joseph

Conec’s managing director, Jennifer Gibbons-Joseph

Money is considered to be the most pivotal element for women who manage their own businesses, hence for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015, there would be a special focus on female entrepreneurs and the various methods of approach used in managing their business finances. Conec Professional Coaching Services, an active GEW partner for the past five (5) years, will be facilitating “After Budget – Money Management”, a workshop aimed at assisting female entrepreneurs to review their operating costs and expenditure as a result of the 2015/2016 budget presentation.

According to Conec’s Managing Director, Jennifer Gibbons-Joseph, “a common mistake made by entrepreneurs is the handling of income and expenditure.” She added “there is also the problem of over-spending, not keeping proper records, and using one account for both businesses expenses and personal/family needs.” Specific areas which would be covered at the workshop include budgeting, asset protection and allocation of funds.

At the end of the workshop, female entrepreneurs would be better able to manage their earnings, and design a post-budget plan to run a profitable business to assist in achieving their objectives. Participants would also gain a better insight into broadening their funding horizons and networking capacity.

Gibbons-Joseph is a Certified Professional Life and Financial Coach and a YBTT facilitator in the areas of Financial Management and Analysis of Your Business Model. For more information on this workshop visit Conec’s Facebook Page at Facebook.com/coneccoach or email coneccoach@gmail.com.  


By: Sandrine Rattan

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


Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, October 29th, 2015