Twenty-five young Barbadians, who are aspiring entrepreneurs, over the past three months were exposed to theoretical and practical teaching sessions on the attitudes to doing business.
Today, they were given an opportunity, through a trade show, to present businesses they had set up during the workshop hosted by the Caribbean Centre Of Excellence at its Dayrell’s Road, Christ Church offices.
Marcia Brandon, chief entrepreneurship expert/managing director of the centre, told reporters the three-month project, sponsored by Signia Financial and the Ministry of Labour, was geared towards helping citizens develop and strengthen attitudes they need to become successful entrepreneurs or more productive persons.
The participants were exposed to two weeks’ training in the classroom, honing theoretical skills, and then practising them via a two-week group entrepreneurial project titled Hitting The Market. Brandon explained that while the businesses were non-traditional, but yet not completely innovative, the focus was on ensuring participants acquired the principles and approaches required to run a business.
The entrepreneurship expert said it was also pivotal for the participants to learn how to work together, which was a necessary attribute no matter where the working individual roamed.
“It is about working with people and working in teams; and how you come across with people whom your chemistry doesn’t gel and how you handle that. We actually themed our training It Is What You Say And Do because many times it is not what you say; it is how you say it.
“What I have found out in life after many years of living is simply that there is a balance in everything you do. Customer service is how you handle your customers to make a good situation bad. If you decide to go down the same road as your customer, being very negative, very unproductive and very impatient, as well as rude, then of course you wouldn’t have a customer left.”
The aspiring entrepreneurs are eager to start businesses in a number of areas that include child care, information technology and renewable energy, among others.
Participant Tracia Beckles said she entered the programme to enhance her confidence level and learn tips from professionals on how to become a successful entrepreneur. The registered paediatric nurse led a team of six participants who went around to summer camps in the past two weeks selling snacks to campers through their Shining Stars Snackery business.