PRESS RELEASE – ST. LUCIA once again joined over 170 countries in celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). A flagship activity of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture, this year’s celebrations did not fall short of expectations, and featured over 10 activities supported by more than 50 partners.
Held under the theme, “Cultivating Young Leaders for Entrepreneurial Success”, the week sought to engage, connect, inspire and mentor young entrepreneurs across St. Lucia.
The celebrations kicked off with the announcement of the 2017 DECA Idea Challenge Mystery Item being announced via GEW’s website on Sunday, November 12. Over the next eight days, student teams from across the island were challenged to transform rubber bands into a useful product. All schools were engaged through the Ministry of Education and encouraged to participate in this competition.
It was the second time that Junior Achievement St. Lucia hosted this event, targeting teachers who already participated in their programmes. As the competition grows, members from the Junior Achievement programme trust that this will become a staple event on the calendar and hope to see more schools participating in the competition.
On Monday, November 13, RBC Royal Bank once again joined the GEW celebrations to host the Entrepreneurs Speed Networking Forum & Launch for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017 at Sandals Halcyon.
The forum allowed over 60 entrepreneurs to engage with professionals in the fields of Law, Marketing, Information Technology, Digital Marketing, Business Registration, Accounting, Customs, Finance, Human Resource, and Business Management. Hosts for the event recorded an increase in participation and noted that the forum did provide the opportunity for valuable information to be acquired.
The forum preceded the official launch for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017. Among the dignitaries present were Governor General Dame Pearlette Louisy; Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Development, Housing, Urban Renewal, Transport and Civil Aviation, Guy Joseph; and President of the St. Lucia Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture, MartinDorville.
In his address to the audience, Joseph reiterated the need for entrepreneurs to conduct more trade locally and support their fellow colleagues in business. He further expounded on his journey as an entrepreneur and the importance of commonsense when conducting business.
The evening continued with inspiring words from 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year, JohananDujon, and BerniseDoxilly, proprietor of Green Grocer, who shared a testimonial of her experience in the forum from the previous year.
The proceedings ended with a cocktail, allowing those present to continue the networking and information sharing throughout the night.
In similar fashion, the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College continued their observance of Global Entrepreneurship Week, starting off with their motivational session for the student population on Monday, November 13. Over 100 students from the Business Department, among others, were engaged with Samuel Lubin of KL Productions and Arthur Allain, 2017 Groovy Soca Monarch.
Presenters were able to share about their journey, provide insight into what it takes to become an entrepreneur and provide some advice and encouragement to members from the audience who wanted to pursue an entrepreneurial journey.
Celebrations continued on Tuesday, November 14 with the College’s newly-rebranded IGen (Idea Generation) competition. Student teams from all departments were challenged to present a business proposition and viable prototype in preparation for the competition.
An overwhelming 40 submissions were received. These submissions underwent two rounds of adjudication, first being shortlisted by the faculty of the Business Department. A total of 18 businesses emerged as finalists of the competition and proceeded to present before a panel of judges. The panel included Dean of the Division of Technical Education & Management Studies, Kirt Harris; Executive Director of the St. Lucia Trade Export Promotion Agency (TEPA), Jacqueline Emmanuel-Flood; Manager of Beacon Insurance, Joralia St. Louis; and Programme Officer of the St. Lucia Youth Business Trust, Wilton Jeremie.
Following an exhilarating afternoon of presentations, the judges dialed down to the grueling task of selecting the three best businesses based on presentation, viability and feasibility and also selected three winners in the categories of Social Consciousness, Investment/Scalability & Creativity/Innovation.
Post–Emergency Safety Kit (PESK) emerged as winner of the competition with emergency solar-powered kit. Minty, who presented a medicated stress and pain relief pad, came in second, with Herbal Sensations with herbal inhalers and air fresheners placing third. The finalists were awarded cash prizes of $500, $300 and $200 respectively and a trophy.
Boost, an app designed to provide uplifting messages and encourage positive conversation, won the Social Consciousness Award. Un Bon Gout, producers of breadfruit chips, won the award for Investment & Scalability, while BB Blitz, creators of a natural bath treatment, won the award for Creativity & Innovation.
TEPA & Beacon Insurance sponsored the trophies and cash prizes for this event.
Celebrations at the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College came to a close with an exhibition held at the Division of Technical Educational & Management Studies carpark. The showcase featured over 20 groups displaying businesses ranging from edible products, to hair gels, face creams, bath soaps and crochet items, among others.
Businesses were from all of the school’s departments. Sponsors for this event were Flow & WLBL.
The Department of Commerce hosted a two-day workshop in Standards for Soap Manufacturers from November 14-15 at the St. Lucia Manufacturers Association’s conference facility. The workshop sought to equip manufacturers with the knowledge around setting proper standards for their operations.
The workshop concluded with a visit to St. Lucia Distillers Ltd. to view the processes and procedures employed by the organization to maintain standards. A total of 18 individuals participated in the workshop facilitated by Rocelyn Howell, Business Development Officer, Small Business Development Centre.
Participants received certificates of participation upon completion of the workshop.
The James Belgrave Micro Enterprise Development Fund joined in the celebrations by hosting two events. One was an internship programme for a past student of the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College for the entire week at their offices.
The intern was able to better understand the workings of the Fund and how the organization sought to assist entrepreneurs in St. Lucia. Belfund also hosted a Small Business Development Workshop from November 15-17. A total of 16 entrepreneurs were equipped with skills in costing and pricing, business management and entrepreneurship. Following the three-day workshop, participants were awarded certificates and follow-up opportunities from Belfund.
Participant ShaquelleBrouett applauded Belfund for their efforts and remarked that the workshop did prove beneficial to her business and encouraged other young entrepreneurs seeking support to reach out to the organization.
Global Entrepreneurship Week 2017 finished strongly with events by the National Youth Council, Department of Sustainable Development – Renewable Energy Division & KL Productions.
On Saturday, November 18, the National Youth Council hosted its first-ever Youth Entrepreneurship Symposium (YES) X Talks at the University of the West Indies Open Campus, Morne Fortune.
The symposium featured presentations from Neil Serieux, Training and Development Officer of Belfund; Irvin Springer, Business Development Manager of 1st National Bank; Christopher Roberts, Project Coordinator of CARCIP; SanchaRaggie, Marketing Manager of Massy Group; and Nyus Alfred, co-founder of Sporte Avis.
One of the main highlights of this event was an open panel discussion with panelists, including well-known young entrepreneurs in the persons of Mandisa Morrison – Shoe Rehab; Lamar Sifflet – Verve; Taribba do Narcimento – Meme Bete; and Laurah John – Jua Kali Ltd.
Over sixty entrepreneurs were in attendance at the event and echoed the relevance of such an activity and continued to applaud the St. Lucia National Youth Council. Many participants indicated their interest in follow-up events or symposiums in various sectors of entrepreneurship.
The Department of Sustainable Development partnered with Global Entrepreneurship Week to present their Private Sector Energy Awareness Fair. The fair is a project by the Department geared towards equipping the public with the awareness of products and services available to them within the renewable energy space.
Over ten businesses showcased their goods and services at the Massy Mega carpark in Choc on Saturday, November 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
KL Productions of Dennery hosted a Poetry Contest & Gospel Concert to close off GEW 2017 on Sunday, November 19. The event was hosted at Chateau Heritage and featured over 20 local artists and poets.
The event sought to again raise the spotlight on creatives within the island and provide them an opportunity to showcase their talents and share their creativity. It was attended by over three hundred people and sponsored by Print Factory, SwiftPac and the Ministry of Youth Development & Sports.