There is great speculation about where the next big idea will come from; who will be the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg.
There is no denying that as the world waits with bated breath many organisations are investing large sums of money in the upcoming generation, and for good reason.
Their ideas are not only innovative and valuable, but in reality, the ideas coming from the generation dubbed ???the Millennials???, are nothing short of revolutionary.
Seeing the potential for greatness in this coming generation, the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), which falls under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth, formed Camp Enterprise. It???s a camp dedicated to the shaping and enlightening of young minds through entrepreneurship.
According to Manager of YES, Selma Green, this summer the camp will focus on educating participants on how to commercialisze eco-friendly businesses. While speaking at the launch of the camp on Monday, Mrs. Green noted the overall importance of fostering an entrepreneurial drive in young people.
???Entrepreneurs are important for Barbados; as we create more entrepreneurs we create the avenue to have increased employment especially among young people,??? she said.
The manager added that developing an awareness and interest in entrepreneurship from a young age reflects positively on the economy as entrepreneurs were crucial in the creation of products that diversify the economy and generate foreign exchange. Additionally, she noted that entrepreneurs also contribute to the social advancement and economic development of the country.
So, how exactly does the camp impact the attitudes and aspirations of campers? Well, according to the manager, the entire experience is a transformative one that not only impacts students??? perspective on the world of work, but also their approach to education.
Mrs. Green stated: ???Almost immediately, we see a difference in attitudes and behaviours of young persons??? [They] have a greater appreciation for entrepreneurship and its importance. They don???t just see it as starting a business, but they see themselves as part of an ecosystem that is going to create economic benefits, not only for themselves but their country.
???You see the difference in persons. They are a lot more confident, they speak more confidently, they are able to solve problems, they are able to spot opportunities???When they go back into the school setting we???ve had reports from teachers, where they see a spin-off benefit because they are taking that positive approach to their other subject areas and it is improving their numeracy and literacy skills.
“And, of course, for those who are going on to do their School Based Assessments (SBAs) and Caribbean Advance Proficiency Examination (CAPE), we???ve also got reports that the information that is garnered here helps them to be able to better cope with their SBAs and exams.???
The camp also provides a stepping stone for young entrepreneurs who wish to take their ideas further. ???We actually have a few of them who started in the camps and are now in YES to start their business,??? she noted.
Over its seven years of operation, the camp has focused on a different priority area each summer as outlined by Government. This year, campers will be charged with creating innovative businesses that are eco-friendly in nature and trade.
As a result of the current focus, a partnership was formed with the Future Centre Trust, an environmentally conscious non-governmental organisation.??Executive Director of the Future Centre Trust, Cherice Gibson, stated that such a partnership was perfect.
???This age group, 13 to 17, is ideal??? The younger we can get students thinking green, the better, because they will practise what they are taught. They oftentimes are the catalyst for change in their household,??? Mrs. Gibson said.
She added that with the Future Centre Trust???s involvement, there were expectations that campers would be exposed to a mixture of theory and practical application where participants would be educated on the global scale of recycling.
They would also have the opportunity to ???get their hands dirty??? through hands-on experience with recyclable materials, which they will use to create craft items. She further stated that the campers would also be exposed to ideas on business ventures that incorporate green ideals, and would be taken to various eco-friendly businesses to see how some Barbadian businesses implement green practices.
As this is only the first week of camp, there is no telling what fascinating and innovative businesses and products will emerge from Camp Enterprise. However, coming on to the end, the public will get to view the various projects the campers would have worked on during the five-week camp and make a determination of their greatness.