Minister with responsibility for Youth, Stephen Lashley, has challenged a group of young entrepreneurs to look beyond Barbados to market their products and services, and to fully explore opportunities regionally and extra-regionally.

Speaking at an exhibition last Saturday which showcased the businesses competing in the television reality show, Bank On Me, Mr. Lashley praised the young people for their commitment to and belief in their products, and said that what impressed him most in his interaction with them was their confidence.

He urged the support of the nation for the entrepreneurs who, he said, were taking up the mantle of helping to build an entrepreneurial sector. ???We are witnessing a transition in the psyche of our young people where rather than talking about getting a job, they are thinking of creating their own businesses and taking them to the next level,??? the Minister stated.

Mr. Lashley revealed that this increased interest in entrepreneurship was also being seen within the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme, with some 32 new jobs being created last year and 16 of the businesses which came through the Scheme earning about $3.17 million.

The Culture Minister also had high praise for the reality show and its creators, Blue Waters Productions, noting that it was the type of project which could be considered for incentives under the Cultural Industries Development Act, which will be proclaimed next month.

He said the show had the potential to earn valuable foreign exchange and he was happy to hear that it was already being broadcast by 24 other television stations in the Caribbean. The next step, he challenged, was to take it outside the region and into North America and Europe.

He disclosed that with the new legislation and accompanying incentives for the film sector, there was increasing interest, not only from Barbadians, but also international film producers, in doing television and film production in Barbados. Entrepreneurs featured on Bank On Me include photographers, graphic designers, make-up artists, game designers, musicians and caterers.

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