Students of the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology posing with their prizes in the vending kiosks design competition, today. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

Vending in Barbados is expected to take on an international flair when a number of modern vending kiosks are constructed starting in the City with the aim of taking that traditional entrepreneurial activity to a higher level.

The first step in making this a reality was the vending kiosks design competition where young persons were given an opportunity to come up with creative designs and vie for attractive prices.

The winners of that competition received their prizes today during a presentation ceremony at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology (SJPI).

In brief remarks, the Ministry of Small Business’ Chief Business Development Officer, Anderson Cumberbatch, said historically, vending had contributed to the development of the average Barbadian household and by extension to the wider economy.

He shared that signage at the future site of the National Vending Facility at Redman’s Village, St. Thomas, had been erected with ground breaking expected in the coming months.

Mr. Cumberbatch noted that the design of the kiosks by the students of the Barbados Community College (BCC) and the SJPI, would see the construction of “modern aesthetically-pleasing and appropriately-sized kiosks, within the City, as well as to resolve much of the tension that is said to exist between some store-owners and the vending community through the effective placement of kiosks”.

The Chief Business Development Officer continued: “This morning’s activity therefore signals a critical step in the continuum to reposition “ma vendor” among those viable contributors to inter-generational wealth-creation and gives a reminder of the increasingly critical role that vending must be allowed to play as Barbados repurposes its human capital agenda and builds a more relevant space within the entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Mr. Cumberbatch said that the vending designs would be used as the blueprint for the construction of other kiosks to be placed within the national vending facilities which will be strategically located across Barbados. 

Principal of the SJPI, Ian Drakes, General Manager of the Barbados Cooperative Credit Union League Limited (BCCUL) Anthony Pilgrim and President of the Barbados Association of Retailers and Vendors, Alister Alexander, highly commended the students for their creativity.

During the ceremony, first placed winners Ramon Gittens, Anina Howard and Tianna Rouse each took home a laptop; placing second and walking away with a tablet each were Antonio Mayers, Danielle Mcdonald and Sarah Cadogan. The third place winners, Saskia Blenman, Rebekha Clarke and Daniel Parris each received a $500 cash prize.

The Small Business Division partnered with BARVEN, BCCUL SJPI, BCC, The Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Markets Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security on this initiative.

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