Press Releases

YOUTH ENTREPRENEURSHIP TO SUPPORT CARICOM INTEGRATION

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Graceson John – Dominica and Andew Julien – Trinidad and Tobago

The process of regional integration has been an important conversation among local and regional business captains since inception in 1968. However, despite the challenges, the process has evolved and has also been demonstrating a steady growth path. Given its significant contribution to world economies, entrepreneurship has been identified as critical to strengthening that Caribbean bond necessary for the overall success of youth entrepreneurship.

Starting this renewed process is the Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Summit, a new platform created for entrepreneurs and policy makers to collectively build a better future for business in the Caribbean.  As an incentive to  motivate young entrepreneurs, special awards were presented at the Summit held recently in Barbados, to a number of creative and innovative young entrepreneurs, who, through their determination and foresight, are set to break traditional barriers in their respective fields.

Copping the award for the Caribbean Regional Social/Environmental Entrepreneur,  was Trinidad and Tobago’s Andrew Julien, one of YBTT’s success stories! Trading as Blue Earth Recycling Technology Limited, Julien provides an unparalleled recycling, collection and transportation service to selected recycling agencies throughout Trinidad and Tobago. The company’s primary focus is the collection of glass bottles, as well as supplying other recyclable waste materials including copper, aluminium and scrap iron for resale and reproduction of new items.

Dominica Youth Business Trust has also produced their own success stories who shared in the C-YES experience! Graceson John, trading as Big G’s Pepper Sauce was the proud winner of the award for the Caribbean Regional Start-Up Young Entrepreneur. John currently has 17 flavours of pepper sauce on the supermarket shelves in Dominica, including Coconut, Coffee, Sorrel, Cinnamon, Pumpkin, Garlic just to name a few. His innovative thinking continues to expand as he has a total of  21  pepper sauce recipes, 2 salad dressings and 2 seasoning sauces. His vision is to take his business to regional and international levels, thereby creating a household name!

Elias Dupuis trading as 365 Group Inc., also from Dominica, is determined to renew the face of the media production industry in Dominica. Winning the award  for the Caribbean Regional Technology Young Entrepreneur, was definitely an inspiration to Dupuis, who together with his business partners, continuously apply the latest technology to provide top-quality services  to clients such as video production, photography, motion graphics, compositing and web/graphic design services.

The door to capacity building for the CARICOM Region would definitely be unlocked by the creativity and innovation that resonate in the hearts and minds of young entrepreneurs!

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, October 1st, 2015

TOBAGO’S GEW EXPERIENCE

Glendora Lashley

Glendora Lashley

The Lily Foundation for Human Development based in Tobago, has been actively involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week for the past three (3) years. Incorporated in 2010 as a non-governmental organization, the Lily Foundation seeks to facilitate personal and general growth and development of individuals. The founding principles of the organization which include helping people, using education as a key to positive holistic development and poverty alleviation,  all point in the direction of growth for those who are fortunate in becoming beneficiaries.

There is an entrepreneurial focus in the work facilitated by the organization. In addition to other entrepreneurial initiatives, the Foundation has been using GEW as a conduit to broaden their reach throughout communities in Tobago. Managing Director of the Foundation, Glendora Lashley, believes that there is definitely a need for initiatives aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship on the island. As she puts it “domestic, regional and international networking events for the island’s business owners are a necessity; there are many individuals under age 40, with good ideas for entrepreneurial initiatives.”

For GEW this year, the organization plans to host an event aimed at facilitating new start-ups by bringing together potential funding agencies, mentors, as well a Human Development Specialist with significant experience in business development. On-the-spot assessments will be made with a view to generating loan applications. Additional details on this event will be posted via social media, as well as the organization’s website www.thelilyfoundatinfhd.org.

Another  major initiative being undertaken in 2016 by the Foundation, is the launch of a twenty-four hour full service Child Facilitation (both child care and pre-school) for children aged 2-5 years. The first of its kind on the island, this establishment will operate as a business, employing at least 8-10 persons in the first instance, with an initial intake of 40 children.

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, September 24th, 2015

ENTREPRENEURS LINKING ENTREPRENEURS TO THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES FOR GEW 2015!

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The Creative Industries sector has always been identified as a pathway for growth given its capacity to add tremendous value to the process of economic diversification in Trinidad and Tobago. Globally, the creative and cultural economy is an important conversation that is aligned to a growing part of world economies. Governments across the world are increasingly recognizing the significance of this sector as a creator of jobs, wealth and to a larger extent, cultural engagement. At the core of creative economies, are the cultural and creative industries which commonly lie at the crossroads of arts and culture.

The special edition of the United Nations Economy Report 2013, described the creative economy as one of the most fastest growing sectors around the world, as well as one that possesses high levels of export earnings. Unlocking the potential of creative economies, also means promoting the overall ingenuity of societies, thereby attesting to the distinct identity of the places where it develops, improving the quality of lives, and ultimately strengthening the entrepreneurial capacity within the economy.

This sector will come alive for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015, with the hosting of “Entrepreneurs Linking Entrepreneurs”, an event designed to demonstrate the unrevealed  potential that resides within the creative industries which consist of eight (8) sub-sectors including music, film, fashion, dance and theatre which also encompasses visual and performing arts, broadcasting, literature and publishing, heritage and festivals including Carnival. GEW’s focus will be the Fashion Industry, 3D Animation and our national instrument, the Steelpan.

Keynote speaker at this event will be Heather Jones, the quintessential artist of this millennium representing the transitional era of the fashion industry. According to Jones “love and romance is a consciousness that goes deeper than a notion of a pretty dress; the fashion industry is now being repositioned globally beyond the external look.” With some 34 years of progressive experience, Jones is set on articulating the importance of the industry towards economic growth and development, particularly in relation to the national conversation on economic diversification.  The socio-economic power of 3D Animation and the Steelpan will be espoused by young YBTT Entrepreneurs Joshua Mangroo, CEO, of NineBreaker Limited and Brian Benoit, CEO, Benoit’s Academy of the SteelPan.

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

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

Barbados to host Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Summit

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PRESS RELEASE – Regional policymakers, young entrepreneurs, and other major stakeholders, will meet in Barbados on Thursday 24th September, 2015 during the Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (C-YES), to chart a future for youth entrepreneurship in the Caribbean.

The C-YES is a new platform for entrepreneurs and policy makers, to collectively build a better future for entrepreneurship development in the Caribbean.It will also provide a golden opportunity to engage governments, regional stakeholders and other institutions in an examination of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, with a view to further strengthening the impact of entrepreneurship as a driver of economic growth in the region.

The Summit will be formally opened by Honourable Stephen Lashley, Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth and opening remarks will be delivered by Ambassador Larry L. Palmer, U.S. Ambassador, Barbados and Eastern Caribbean.

Trinidad and Tobago entrepreneur, Mrs. Tameika Fletcher-Birmingham shall deliver the keynote address. Other speakers include Mr. David Clarke, Chairman of the Barbados Youth Business Trust and representatives from UWI, CARICOM, the Caribbean Development Bank and Youth Business International.

C-YES will be co-hosted by a number of agencies that support young entrepreneursfrom Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia and Dominica along with London-based network organization Youth Business International (YBI), who have reinforced their commitment towards the continued development of youth entrepreneurship. During the past three (3) years, these organizations have been working collaboratively to deliver the Youth Entrepreneurship Program for the Eastern Caribbean (YEPEC), with funding fromUSAID.

YEPEC involved the delivery of high quality training, mentoring and network support to help young people to establish sustainable businesses, as well as capacity-building of the institutions involved in the provision of this support.

– See more at: St. Lucia News Online

 

“STUDENTS TO CONNECT WITH ENTREPRENEURS” (GEW 2015)

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Global Entrepreneurship Week usually brings with it high levels of creativity and innovation all aimed at bringing out the best in the global entrepreneurial community, and therein lies the importance of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.  The  Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), has identified  five (5) pivotal  areas necessary for creating a supportive ecosystem simply branded Connect, Celebrate, Understand, Support and Compete.

According to the GEN framework, entrepreneurs need to continuously connect with investors, policymakers, researchers and community leaders; the success stories generated by entrepreneurs must be celebrated with a view to inspiring future entrepreneurs; entrepreneurs need to understand the importance of each cycle of the entrepreneurial spectrum; support for entrepreneurs is critical and includes programs and resources that can assist in their success, and entrepreneurs need to compete in various forums to foster their creative and innovative capacity.

Based on this framework, YBTT started the implementation of same since GEW 2014 in terms of  reinforcing the importance of a sound ecosystem. For GEW 2015 scheduled for November 16th – 22nd, 2015, the trend will continue, and in so doing, specific events will be facilitated. The first of these is an “Entrepreneurial Outreach” designed to inculcate a sense of entrepreneurial conscience in the minds of stakeholders. Key stakeholders who contribute to entrepreneurial development in Trinidad and Tobago, would be part of this experience, which would also allow for entrepreneurs to obtain an indepth understanding of the myriad of resources and programmes available to support them in becoming successful.

Another GEW initiative which would be implemented by YBTT is a National Entrepreneurial Survey the sole purpose of which is to gather data to understand the gaps and challenges, as well as the existence of untapped opportunities which entrepreneurs can take advantage of. Support will be required from stakeholders in providing information necessary to fill the gaps and treat with the challenges identified in this survey, which is deemed to be an ideal start in strengthening this country’s eco-system.

The creative industry is an important sector on the entrepreneurial landscape, and will be the thrust upon which the national symposium, another GEW event, will be facilitated. Secondary school students will be part of this creative experience which will showcase the innovative potential of the steelpan, fashion and animation, all of which are significant to the effective functioning of this sector. This initiative would enable these students to connect with entrepreneurs within the creative industry. For this year’s GEW celebrations, YBTT is challenging both existing and potential partners to plan activities surrounding these five (5) pivotal areas. 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, September 10th, 2015

HOWARD PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT YOUTH CONFERENCE

Dr. Wayne Fredericks

Dr. Wayne Fredericks

The President of Howard University, Trinidad-born, Dr. Wayne Frederick, will be the keynote speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Week’s (GEW) Student Conference in November. Junior Achievement will partner with Youth Business Trinidad & Tobago (YBTT), in hosting the event which usually attracts a wide group of stakeholders, all of whom contribute to entrepreneurial development in the national community. Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to empowering young people through knowledge and skills needed to own their economic success and plan for their future and smart academic choices.

The Trinidad and Tobago arm of JA, has been the member nation to start operations within the Caribbean and Latin America. JA’s approach to preparing youngsters to face the world also includes a taste of entrepreneurship, which is reflected in the organization’s continued presence in secondary schools. JA’s involvement in Global Entrepreneurship Week, revolves around the annual hosting of a conference specifically designed for young men from across  secondary schools, and communities in Trinidad and Tobago. Themed “GEW’s Student Conference”, the event is scheduled for November 17th (Tobago) and November 18th (Queen’s Hall, Trinidad).

Structured in the form of a panel discussion, the event provides an opportunity for participants to interact with male role models on their specific areas of interest. According to JA’s Executive Chairman, J. Errol Lewis “over the years, we have seen an evolution of transformation in the lives of young men who were privileged to have shared in this experience, and as a result, we’ve decided to maintain it as our signature event for GEW.”

Apart from Frederick, other speakers include citizens who have a record of helping other young males in their aspirations to achieve. These include Lewis,  who for some 40-plus years, has dedicated his life and work towards the advancement and development of youths; Neil Shaka Hislop, a name synonymous with football both at local and international levels. Hislop was also awarded the Chaconia Gold Medal, and is a Broadcaster with ESPN. Also,  Dr. Clive Dottin, Public Affairs & Religious Liberty Director of the Caribbean Union Conference Seventh-Day Adventists, who is no stranger to youth development, and Brig.  Gen Anthony Phillips-Spencer, who has had over 33 years service in the Defence Force.

JA continues to be committed to youth development, and once again, YBTT welcomes the support from this organization for GEW 2015!

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Global Entrepreneurship Week is here again!

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The entire global community comprising of a diversed group of stakeholders including world leaders, investors, entrepreneurs, captains of industries, innovators, job creators and start-ups would collectively celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 in November. GEW has been identified as the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship aimed at bringing ideas to life, driving economic growth and expanding human welfare. Founded in 2008 by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (USA), Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs this year from November 16th – 22nd, has provided a platform that creates one global entrepreneurial ecosystem. According to Jonathan Ortmans, President of the Global Entrepreneurship Network “interest in start-ups and entrepreneurship continues to grow in all parts of the world; GEW provides a shot of adrenaline at one concentrated moment, to help provide nascent entrepreneurs with access to research, programs and network they need to maximize their potential.”

An estimated 160 countries are expected to be part of the GEW experience, and here in Trinidad and Tobago, we’re no different, as Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT), this country’s GEW Host for the past five (5) years, intend to effectively mobilize the resources of all entrepreneurial players in T&T by strengthening the process of connectivity, for both start-ups and existing entrepreneurs throughout the national landscape.

Over the years, the success and positive results which emanated from GEW activities, were made possible through the tireless efforts and boundless support received from major stakeholders including AMCHAM Trinidad and Tobago, Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, CARIRI, Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies, CME Consulting Limited, Conec Marketing and Financial Services Limited, Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Export Centres Limited, Junior Achievement of Trinidad and Tobago, Launch Rockit, Ministry of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprises, Ministry of Planning and Sustainable Development, National Entrepreneurship Development Company Limited (NEDCO), Republic Bank Limited, The Lily Foundation for Human Development (Tobago), The University of Trinidad and Tobago, The University of the West Indies, We Are Better Youths Say Yes (WABY) and YTEPP.

This year, in collaboration with our Platinum Sponsor, BG Trinidad & Tobago, our fundamental aim is to further strengthen the networking capacity of the national entrepreneurial eco-system, so that both start-ups and existing entrepreneurs would become fully aware of the support services provided by the various stakeholders who have continuously championed the cause for entrepreneurial development in the national community. Our thrust of GEW would evolve beyond the week of November 16th – 22nd, 2015, as the intent is to maintain constant dialogue capable of creating an enabling environment within which our entrepreneurship can flourish.

Over the next few weeks, we would be disseminating information on both GEW 2015 and post-GEW activities, all aimed at solidifying the importance of the entrepreneurial contribution made towards Trinidad and Tobago’s gross domestic product. To become a GEW Partner or Sponsor, be sure to download the YBTT GEW 2015 Promo Pack!

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, August 6th, 2015

Entrepreneurial Profile – Jabari Lynch

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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

YOUTH ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF KATHERINE ELLIS.

Photo of Katherine EllisYOUTH ENTREPRENEURIAL DEVELOPMENT AS SEEN THROUGH THE EYES OF KATHERINE ELLIS, DIRECTOR OF YOUTH AFFAIRS, COMMONWEALTH SECRETARIAT (LONDON)!

 

“My primary role is is to support the 53-member governments of the Commonwealth, to empower their young people socially, politically and economically to effect change” said Katherine Ellis, Director of Youth Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, London. Ellis is Australian born, and has served some twelve (12) years in the private sector in the Asian-Pacific region, and another eight (8) years in the NGO youth sector. “I was able to transfer the experiences gained within the private sector to the NGO sector, and thereafter, into the inter-governmental space  to successfully initiate change in and through youth development which is an important part of the mandate of  the Commonwealth Secretariat” said Ellis.

Ellis strongly believes that young persons should be exposed to environments that allow for positive experiences particularly as they relate to their entrepreneurial pursuits. “As a young person, I was privileged to grow up in a stable family environment, where there was a prevalence of integrity, honesty and trust and people looked after each other. I always encourage young people, especially young entrepreneurs, to develop their own personal values to underpin successful action.”

Ellis visited Trinidad and Tobago recently as part of the Commonwealth team to facilitate the establishment of the  Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs – Caribbean and Canada (CAYE-C&C) which was developed primarily to link entrepreneurs, to drive support for entrepreneurship, and build trading opportunities.“This alliance, which originated from the Asian Region, is aimed at providing connectivity support across the Caribbean Region and Canada, for young entrepreneurs.They can share experiences, and raise a united voice to call for a better system to support emerging businesses” she said. Though CAYE –C&C will be supported by the Commonwealth Secretariat, it promises to be self-driven with each member country embarking on appropriate initiatives aimed at propelling the growth of youth entrepreneurship. It should be noted, that Youth Business Trinidad and Tobago (YBTT), is the representative organization in CAYE-C&C  responsible for providing support for young entrepreneurs in Trinidad and Tobago.

There has been a strong commitment by member countries which include Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Canada, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago, to ensure that CAYE-C&C  represents a unified voice for the further development of youth entrepreneurship regionally and internationally.

For further information on CAYE-C&C, please visit their website at www.cayecaribbean.com.

 

By: Sandrine Rattan

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

 

Published in the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday on Thursday, July 23rd, 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