Develop Creativity in Young Barbadians: Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation

Creativity and Innovation were the main words of the night at the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation’s 7th monthly forum held on Tuesday June 28th at the Plantation Garden Theatre. The forum was titled ‘’Working to Unlock and Develop the Talent Creativity and Innovation in Young Barbadians’’, and was presented by Keith Miller and The Education Pillar.

It was stated that the approach to entrepreneurship today is too traditional and requires change in order to excite and inspire the youth of Barbados to reach their full potential. It was announced that one new approach being taken would be in the form of a competition titled ‘’The $20 Challenge’’ initiated by the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF).

Keith Miller and the EIA Kids

The concept would be to present a group of third formers who are entering fourth form in September with a 20 dollar bill and then observe what methods and strategies they formulate to make a profit from the money. At the end of the allotted time the business plans will be judged by a panel and the winner will be presented at the upcoming summit in November 2011. Keith Miller said ‘’we hope this competition will act as a kick-start to the future of Entrepreneurship in the next generation.’’

The participants of The Business Challenge, described as ‘’a step towards a paradigm shift’’ which was held this year during the Easter holidays running from April 4th – April 8th, also made a short presentation of how their lives were dramatically changed over the few days by the project organised by the Rotary Club of Barbados and conducted by BEF board member Derek Brown, founder of Entrepreneurs In Action (EIA) based in the UK. The challenge included 19 students, all from different secondary schools across the island, between the ages of 14 – 18 years old, all studying different subjects from the sciences to the arts.

Leonardo Martellotto, Director of Operations: Junior Achievement the Americas

They were forced to work as a team to examine, review and critique the website of Automotive Art, the Caribbean’s largest Auto-Care retailer of car enhancement products and services. All of the students said that at the beginning they were very nervous, timid and overwhelmed by the task at hand but by the last day considered themselves a family and that they were so proud of their achievements. Martin Edwards one of the participants said “I realised how much you can miss out on just by saying No’’ after he honestly said that he had other plans for his vacation time.

When asked to raise their hand if they wanted to be entrepreneurs, every single hand without exception was raised upwards. The Business Challenge was not only beneficial for the teenagers but for Automotive Art as well saying ‘this was the best social investment in the history of the company’’.

Keith Miller & Donna Every

Audra, a representative of The Cave Hill School of Business announced that the school will launch 2 new programmes in October: The MBA in Entrepreneurship and The Diploma in Entrepreneurship. She said that the addition will strengthen the capacity of U.W.I, ‘’it is our aim to be a forefront competitor’’, she added ‘’it will advance the culture of entrepreneurship in Barbados and bring us closer to being the #1 entrepreneurial hub by 2020’’

Keith Miller also announced that the Education Audit, conducted as a collaborated effort between the Cave Hill School of Business and The Kelly Business School has started and was on target to deliver the results in time for the 2011 summit which is beheld at Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on November 17 &18.

A short presentation was made by Leonardo Martellotto, Director of Operations: Junior Achievement the Americas, endorsing the innovative approach the BEF was taking with regard to entrepreneurship education. Adrian ‘’BooHusbands, manager of Headliners Calypso tent, also outlined how they were working with the BEF to promote the 11:11:11 ON initiative during the Crop Over Season.

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