Disruption of supply chains, closure of businesses, cancellations of renowned events and social distancing are just some of the major upheavals that have marred business activity globally; being your brothers’ keeper philosophy seems to be the most viable option for surviving this crisis. In spite of it all, efforts are being made at multiple levels to maintain relevance particularly in relation to the entrepreneurial community who in most cases, are hardest hit.
Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago is committed to ensuring that its various publics are served with minimal disruption; high levels of creativity and innovation would be infused in each and every activity as our intention is to remain relevant and sustainable. Social distancing has forced our team to increase connectivity with our young entrepreneurs as their needs have been amplified through calls for continuous streams of knowledge and current updates with the potential to salvage their businesses.
Though operating remotely, our team has been engaged in the daily exploration of creating a broad suite of online products and services directed towards the strongest commitment to our stakeholders including our faithful donors who have laboured with us over the years, as well as our young entrepreneurs. We have already begun the process of soliciting first-hand information from our entrepreneurs on their current needs given the impact of Covid-19, as their feedback would inform the way forward in terms of additional and/or customized support.
Maintaining a sustainable
online presence is at the forefront of YBTT’s agenda as this would be the main
portal of disseminating information on upcoming activities including Webinars,
Mentor Meet-Ups, Ecosystem Engagement and much more.
Before, during and
post-Covid-19, YBTT is destined to be the shining light of opportunity and
sustainability in the life of each and every young entrepreneur in Trinidad and
tuned to our social media platforms to get the latest news!
Youth Business Trinidad
and Tobago joins the rest of the global entrepreneurial community in
celebrating World Entrepreneurs Day! Embedded in its thrust of creating
awareness for entrepreneurship on a global scale, WED is yet another major
platform that reminds us of the critical role of the entrepreneurial eco-system
in re-energizing societies to significant points of sustainability and creativity.
True entrepreneurship is only realized when individuals are able to identify
gaps and challenges that can only be solved by capitalizing on a unique
business opportunity with the capacity to spread its wings at the highest
WED is ideal for not only
those who are already navigating within the ecosystem, but to also motivate and
influence those wantrepreneurs who may be sitting on the fence thinking about
the experience that the ecosystem offers. The commemoration also pushes the new
narrative of philanthropreneurship which seeks to increase the philanthropic
impact of non-profit organizations, and social entrepreneurship, which is an
approach by start-up companies and entrepreneurs to develop, fund and implement
solutions to social, cultural or environmental issues. Also at the core of WED,
is the infusion of creativity and innovation to ensure that entrepreneurs
remain at the top of their game particularly when operating in a competitive
YBTT’s relevance in the national ecosystem is validated by a number of its young entrepreneurs who are way ahead of their innovative game like Maria Boneo trading as Maria’s Country Style Pastelles who says
“I’m continuously engaging in market research to see what the market demands are and how my product fits as that is of utmost importance. I always ensure that my processes are aligned to meet the dynamics of the changing market.”
The fear of failure is probably one of the most common emotions experienced by young entrepreneurs, some of which has to do with a negative mindset infused with self-doubt and uncertainty. Failure is also symptomatic of a reluctance to try new things and/or embarking on new business projects… which also leads to self-sabotage and anxiety. Despite its negative connotations, failure is not a particularly bad thing, as it provokes valuable insights capable of adding value to one’s entrepreneurial pot.
There are many international icons who have experienced failure before basking in the sunshine of success. Michael Jordan is widely considered to be one of the world’s basketball greats, yet he was cut from his high school basketball team because his coach thought he did not have enough skills. Warren Buffet, one of the world’s richest and most successful businessmen, was rejected by Harvard University, and Richard Branson, owner of Virgin empire is a high-school drop-out.
Jumping into the entrepreneurial ring is indeed scary, but once the idea is accompanied with determination, commitment and passion you WIN! In spite of their ages or even levels of experience, most entrepreneurs can tell their fear stories that actually propelled them towards overcoming FEAR. Can it be overcome…..of course, it can. Start by setting attainable goals and ignore your inner perfectionist; focus on the passion and grit that influenced you to start your entrepreneurial journey; throw away the idea that there’s a perfect work-life balance as entrepreneurship is about shifting to a 24/7 clock. Failure is indeed part of becoming successful and instead of focusing on the negative aspect of it, pull out the important lessons that can push you up the entrepreneurial ladder!
“You must become an expert in your field of business and that comes from trial and error over and over again; documenting each time what works and what doesn’t, and doing more of what works.”
“My biggest fear in choosing entrepreneurship was a return on investments. In my experience, I have personally seen where choosing the wrong location caused businesses to fail and causing persons to abandon entrepreneurship and get a job. This was my fear in going into entrepreneurship whether or not I would make back the capital that would be put out.”
Success is always a tipping point for young entrepreneurs; it’s that one word that defines the storyline of your business and therefore all attitude attributes and the overall management of your business must breathe success. Get into the right mindset by having a passion for your business as passion is known for quickly overcoming challenges; remember you are in charge. Be an exemplar of trustworthiness so as to build high levels of confidence in the minds of your employees and customers. Flexibility is integral to continued success as it allows for easy adaptability to a rapidly changing environment; it’s also about building a culture of integrity. Never allow the fear of failure to take away from your moments of success as it’s an opportunity to learn new things to add to your bag of success.
Remember YOU are the major asset to your business so always take care of YOU! Below our YBTT Supported Entrepreneurs shared their perspectives on what success means to them.
“Success to me means the opportunity to make a positive impact on others so they might achieve their greatest potential.” ~ Brian Benoit, Founder, Benoit Academy of Steel Pan
“Success for me is the moments where I take those faith leaps and even the tiny steps that lead me closer to accomplishing my dream.” ~ Tisha Gittens, Founder, Tisha’s Academy of the Performing Arts
“Success to me is finding the perfect balance between my personal life and achieving work goals sustainable; it’s about having good mental, physical and spiritual well-being whilst living a happy and contented life.” ~ Rayanna Boodram, Founder, Sarr Distributors
Youth Business Trinidad
and Tobago (YBTT) has been holding the reigns as the Local Host of Global Entrepreneurship Week for the
past eight (8) years; during this time, the organization has and continues to
galvanize support from Trinidad and Tobago’s diverse range of stakeholders
including donors, potential and existing entrepreneurs who all possess the
collective conscience in advancing the development of the national
entrepreneurial eco-system. This year’s commemoration held from November 12th – 18th,
2018 was extremely timely, as many more are beginning to accept
entrepreneurship as not only the preferred revenue stream, but also as a
platform to explore the depth of one’s creative potential in relation to the
various business sectors.
As interest and significance
continue to grow, YBTT is committed towards using GEW as a national platform to
amplify entrepreneurial movement beyond its 18-35 demographic; this is so, as the GEW brand, which is
positioned as the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who
launch start-ups, bring ideas to life and drive economic growth, is beginning
to evolve into a larger entrepreneurial template, geared towards igniting
conversations support by concerted action.
Commitment by Corporate Trinidad & Tobago
Every year, there remains
a robust commitment by specific organizations who are not only sold on YBTT’s
vision, but whose corporate responsibility includes support towards
entrepreneurial development. On board again this year were Massy Foundation,
Republic Bank Limited, Unit Trust Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago and TSTT
Partnering – Shifting the Paradigm
Supporting YBTT in ensuring the success of yet another GEW, were 25 partners who are also committed to the continued enhancement of entrepreneurial development in Trinidad and Tobago; this culminated in 33 events all infused with the global themes of Women, Youth and Inclusion. Itwas an awesome experience with the American Chamber of Industry and Commerce, Bead Café, Pump International, Power 102FM, NineBreaker Limited, The DocuCentre, Intellectual Property Office, CARIFIC Coaching and Consulting, ChoiceHR Limited, National Secondary Schools’ Entrepreneurship Competition, Monivan Digital Marketing Solutions, Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce, COSTAATT, CARIRI, Share Home Caribbean/UWI’s Department of Management Studies/Institute of Service & Quality Management, We Say Y.E.S Organization, Cash Flow Club, Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs; Our Moving Table, The League of ExtraOrdinary Entrepreneurs, Sharisse Hosein, Shell LiveWIRE Program and the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
Trinidad and Tobago got their fair share of the GEW experience through their
participation in the Youth Empowerment
Through Entrepreneurship competition which provided them with opportunities
to showcase their creative and innovative potential! A potpourri of ideas
emerged from a Bio-Degradable Waste
Management System to an On-Line
Tutoring Service. This initiative would serve as a template for GEW 2019 as YBTT continues to ignite the
entrepreneurial spirit within the school community. 14-year old Shivani Rampersad of ASJA Girls’ College, Barrackpore
got the judges’ nod with her innovative idea of a Pet Emergency
Health Services which was born out of
a need to provide adequate health care for pets in Trinidad and Tobago.
Competition sponsors Arthur Lok Jack Global School of Business, TSTT bmobile
and Les Bourgeois Gourmet Services Limited were extremely delighted to support
this initiative given their commitment to youth development.
As the local flag bearer of
Global Entrepreneurship Week, YBTT remains steadfast in strengthening its
efforts and commitment to not only supporting and nurturing the 18-35
demographic in developing innovative and sustainable businesses, but to continue holding hands and collaborating
with like-minded stakeholders dedicated to advancing the national eco-system.
“Entrepreneur is someone who has a vision for something and a want to create.”