Young Barbadians Interested In Being Entrepreneurs

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Some of the young ‘entrpreneurs’ delivering a??presentation during the closing session of Camp Enterprise at Queen’s College.??

The entrepreneurial spirit among young Barbadians is alive and many of them are interested in setting up their own businesses.

This is the word from Director of Camp Enterprise, Paul Leach, who said many young people saw being their own boss and controlling the amount of money they could earn as attractive. "The downside of that may be that while they say they want to be entrepreneurs and they really want to start their own businesses, a lot of them are not aware of the challenges that are involved. Owning your own business is not an easy venture…, you usually have to put in a lot of work.

"For the first two to three years, most businesses just exist… The business requires all of the owner’s attention, but once he is persistent and has a good business idea that is workable, you find in year four, five or six the owner starts to see a turn around," Mr. Leach stated.

He made the comments yesterday at a closing ceremony for 63 teenagers who attended the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme-sponsored four-week camp at Queen’s College.??

He pointed out that the camp "went very well", even though they had "a few hiccups" along the way. "We were over-subscribed at the beginning and we had to turn away some folks because we did not have enough space. At some time we underestimated the pull of this type of camp," he observed.

The Director promised that YES would consider increasing next year’s camp intake, adding that he would like to see the programme expanded to other zones, so more young people could be exposed to training.

He noted that the camp was able to achieve its objectives and the campers were a lot more sensitive to business issues. Mr. Leach said: "They know a lot more about what goes into business. I think a lot of them are giving some serious consideration to starting their own businesses and some, having gotten that first-hand approach and understanding of business, are thinking that it may not necessarily be the avenue for them… But, that is fine because once we can help them identify the direction that they want to go in, then I feel that we would have achieved our overall objective."

Mr. Leach praised the campers for stepping up to the challenge and working on their business projects, stating that when "crunch time came and decisions had to be made and alternatives found, they were very resourceful".

saustin@barbados.gov.bb

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