Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF): Include entrepreneurship on national curriculum
The entrepreneurial spirit of young Barbadians took centre stage, as more than thirty teenage business people, drawn from a wide cross-section of secondary schools, were toasted during the annual awards ceremony of the Flow/BEF $20 Challenge at the Concorde Experience.
“The creativity, brilliance and overall enterprise on display is an inspiration to us all, and as title sponsor, we are extremely proud of their accomplishments at such an early stage of their development,” said Marilyn Sealy, Director of Communications and Stakeholder Engagement, Flow Barbados.
“The $20 Challenge is now in its sixth year and we continue to be impressed by the level of understanding the students have about planning and executing their businesses, from concept to branding to sales. We are very proud of their achievements and we are confident in their new-found ability to be enterprising citizens now and in the future.”
Launched by the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) in 2010, the $20 Challenge aims to inspire and generate as much interest as possible among local youth about the idea of becoming an entrepreneur.
Students who participated were loaned $20 last October and the BEF provided mentorship about the ins and outs of running a business for three months. The young entrepreneurs then presented their business plans and products to a panel of judges.
“There is huge potential for our young people to contribute towards the development of Barbados’ economy and Flow is especially pleased to once again offer the winners an internship at Cable & Wireless Barbados, funds to grow their new companies and the provision of connectivity, thereby directly contributing to the development of their business skills.”
Keith Miller, one of the organisers of the $20 Challenge, said he was heartened to see the growth of the annual competition and urged local education officials to embrace and incorporate practical training as part of the national secondary school curriculum.
“The $20 Challenge is run entirely by a group of volunteers for a couple of months each year but just imagine the kind of results we can achieve for Barbados if the tenants of being an entrepreneur were being taught in our schools year round. By encouraging youth entrepreneurship we are creating an environment whereby we can prepare our young people to contribute towards the efforts of a sustainable community,” he noted.
“We are also doubly proud of the $20 Challenge because it teaches our children to be responsible individuals by acquiring critical goal setting, time management, leadership and interpersonal skills. All of these qualities were on display during the competition and they will continue to grow within the minds of the participants for years to come.”