Can you create a business with just $20?
That’s the question the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation has again thrown out to Fourth and Fifth formers of the island’s public and private secondary schools as it attempts for the second year to launch the $20 Challenge, an entrepreneurial competition for young people.
Project Manager with the BEF, responsible for the Education and Talent Development Pillar, Donna Every said already the Foundation had doubled the number of “Ambassadors” coming on board to help mold the young people and guide them with their business concepts.
The BEF held a meeting recently with the Ambassadors, and Every said they were surprised and pleased at the response, although she admitted that while they had 24 people this year, compared to nine last year, they really still needed more adults to step forward and volunteer to help mentor the young people who will get involved from the various schools.
Last year 13 schools registered, and the Foundation is hoping to have every secondary school participate increase this year.
“The role of the Ambassador is to liaise with the school to which they are assigned, get the school to agree to be a part of the competition, go in and make a presentation to the students and encourage them to enter and mentor the participants through the four weeks of the programme.
“This year it looks as if we will have at least one Ambassador for every secondary school – Government and private – and as far as possible we have tried to assign the Ambassadors to their alma mater or to make sure they have some affiliation with the school,” she explained.
She said most of the ambassadors who volunteered were entrepreneurs or “enterprising individuals”, and all of them had a passion to see entrepreneurship develop in Barbados and to assist young people in doing so.
“We even have one of our winners from last year who has offered to act as an Ambassador this year and encourage other kids to participate.
“Our aim is to have participation by every secondary school. We will be giving prizes within each school as well as overall prizes,” she said.
Ambassadors are expected to go in this week to start recruiting students to participate, but the actual competition runs from October 1 to 26.
Students participating will be given $20 on registering and have the four weeks to use the money to create a profitable, innovative and/or community minded business. Each participant is expected to maintain a journal to record and demonstrate both their activities and thought processes over the course of the competition. (LB)