Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Yolande Howard (centre), poses with five of the six winning entrepreneurs. Left to right is: Tamara Howard, Rachel Blenman, Mia Homer, Shadia Cobham and Regina Gibbs. (GP)

Six young female entrepreneurs came out tops in the recently concluded Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme’s (YES) Entrepreneurial Development Training Programme.

The winners received awards for their outstanding performance in the Business Model Canvas presentations, during a prize giving ceremony this past Wednesday.

The young women pulled ahead of their peers during virtual presentations to a panel of local, regional and international judges, which included Sherwin Bridgewater of Trinidad and Tobago; Adrian Reid, currently stationed in Switzerland; Celia Collymore of Bajan Fusion, and Youth Commissioner in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, Kirk Prescod.

During her remarks, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Yolande Howard, noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a great effect on the world of work as we know it, and encouraged the entrepreneurs to continue to explore; learn the world of business and not limit themselves to one path.

She reassured the entrepreneurs of the Ministry’s commitment to their success: “The Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment will not in any way allow the public health crisis, or indeed any crisis, to stifle our ability and capability to offer programmes such as this to you, your friends and family members to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to be able to realise their full potential.”

The Permanent Secretary acknowledged that the pandemic had resulted in most of the Ministry’s training transitioning from face-to-face to online platforms, and assured those present that the Ministry would continue to utilise tools, such as Zoom, and Microsoft Teams, to ensure that knowledge and services continue to be shared during this challenging time.

Acting Manager of the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, Ryan Mosley, encouraged the entrepreneurs to take full advantage of YES’ suite of services in the pursuit of growing their businesses. (GP)

Acting Manager of YES, Ryan Mosley, commended the participants for their ability to have quickly adapted to an online format, due to the pandemic.

He pointed out that this group was the second cohort of the programme, which was facilitated through the online platform, and noted that while the virtual nature of the programme had some drawbacks, including limited networking and interaction between participants, “it was still very successful and achieved its targets”.

Mr. Mosley encouraged the entrepreneurs to take full advantage of YES’ suite of services in the pursuit of growing their businesses, including attending other programmes and webinars.

The six-week programme, which was divided into two cohorts, a morning and evening group, had 29 participants.

First prize winner from the morning group was Mia Homer of Print on Demand; second place went to Shadia Cobham, of S is for Smooth, Silky and Seductive, and the third prize winner was Regina Gibbs of Unlocked Beauty.

In the evening group, the winner was Rachel Blenman of Rajaro’s Concierge; second place was awarded to Tamara Harewood, owner of Flawless Blendz, and third place went to Jasmin Austin of Jasmin Auriginalz.

Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment

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