A call has been made for more entrepreneurs to ???capitalise on regional entrepreneurship opportunities???.

Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, speaking earlier today at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Youth Entrepreneurship Summit (C-YES) at the Courtyard by Marriott, said more young entrepreneurs needed to explore the many opportunities for expanding their enterprises within the region.

While addressing several entrepreneurs and youth entrepreneurship organisations from across the region, the Minister stated that while entrepreneurship ???is an effective developmental tool???, for it to be more impactful and sustainable, ???a regional approach to advancing and showcasing its legitimacy??? must be taken.

He added that entrepreneurs must be willing to set aside borders and share economic and market information. According to the Minister of Youth, entrepreneurs must leverage their ???shared resources as an investment to strengthen our regional support institution; build a knowledge base; and enhance leadership capacity to transform those opportunities into economic activity???.

Mr. Lashley stressed that to best capitalise on regional entrepreneurship opportunities, regional connectivity was very important. Acknowledging that ???regionalism is not an easy task???, the Minister said that there were many benefits to such a movement.

He added that among the many benefits were increased employment among youth in the region; enhanced data collection and greater information sharing; and improved business to business trade among young entrepreneurs.

In outlining the many benefits, Mr. Lashley also stated that there had been some move toward regional connectivity among entrepreneurs. He cited the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs ??? Caribbean and Canada (CAYE-C&C): a coalition of 13 organisations from nine Commonwealth countries, from Anguilla in the north to Trinidad and Tobago in the south.

The Minister praised the alliance as ???a fine example of regionalism at work to promote youth entrepreneurship???.??The C-YES saw various entrepreneurs from across the region come together to share their experiences. Several of the youth entrepreneurship organisations present have, over the past three years, been given support through the Youth Entrepreneurship Program for the Eastern Caribbean, with funding from USAID.


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