Engendering an Entrepreneurial Mindset in our Youth

The Small Business Association continues to foster innovative and entrepreneurial thinking in the youth via the Enterprise in Action Youth Programme.

This academic year, the Small Business Association is proudly facilitating over 260 students from fourteen cohorts and thirteen secondary schools including the St. Michael School, the Graydon Sealy Secondary School, the Alleyne School and Queen’s College. The programme which is divided into four phases aims not only to equip students with the skills necessary to become a successful business owner, but also seeks to provide experience that would make them a potential asset to any firm.

The first phase was concluded in January 2020 and allowed the students to gain knowledge on topics such as Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and Law and was facilitated by expert consultants in these respective fields. The students have since transitioned to phase two where they have been given the opportunity to apply the knowledge they received in phase one, in a practical way. To accomplish this, students work in groups to develop and launch a business within their schools, under the guidance of mentors assigned by the SBA. The students recently hosted brainstorming sessions and did the relevant market research to determine if their ideas were feasible and are working diligently to launch 14 businesses in areas such as confectionary, cosmetics, baking and car washing.

EIA Youth

(Senior Specialist in Marketing & Research at Cave Shepherd Card Services, Ms. Kaylene Henry, assisting students from the St. Michael School)

The third stage will involve selected students taking part in summer internships with some of the SBA’s key industry partners which will give them an even greater advantage in the workplace as they will earn hands-on experience in the local business environment. The programme will conclude on a high note as the students will be invited to the association’s annual EIA Youth Forum. At the forum, students will showcase their businesses and make presentations on what they have gained from the programme for the sponsors of the event, SBA’s industry partners and members of the media.

Notably, the programme has partnered with the Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council (TVET) to transition the EIA Youth Programme to a National Vocational Qualification. As a result, the 2019-2020 cohort will have the opportunity to receive this regionally recognised certification on completion of their secondary school tenure. With this newest addition, students completing the EIA programme will no doubt become formidable innovators and pioneers in the local workforce and business sector.

The 2019-2020 EIA Youth Programme is sponsored by The Central Bank of Barbados, Cave Shepherd and Co. Ltd and CIBC First Caribbean International Bank