The Small Business Association (SBA) Enterprise In Action (EIA) Programme is bearing fruit beyond the school level, the organization’s chief executive officer has reported.
The initiative is designed to familiarize students with the key tenants of entrepreneurship and has been incorporated into the curriculum of 13 schools.
SBA head Lynette Holder told Barbados TODAY that several participants have now gone on to start businesses.
“We have already seen some persons who have left their secondary school and started a business. We have seen this from former students at Coleridge and Parry and Graydon Sealy especially,” she said.
Holder added that the SBA had assisted these young entrepreneurs in their endeavours.
“We have even helped a couple of these persons to get started after the life of their school projects. We have given such persons further opportunities by inviting them to be part of exhibitions we have hosted. Every opportunity that has presented itself like that we would, as an association, help them as much as we can to give them the fillip to access financing, etc.”
The CEO was speaking on the sidelines of the SBA’s three-day Youth Symposium at the Savannah Hotel, which gave students the opportunity to share the successes and failures of their school-based micro-enterprise projects.
She was quick to point out that the primary focus of the EIA Programme was to foster an entrepreneurial mindset, but it did not necessarily have to translate into an actual business.
“Each year we cater to about 200 students and we say all the time that our focus is not on developing entrepreneurs, because not everyone will be an entrepreneur. Our focus is encouraging an entrepreneurial attitude where persons think outside of the box, are more innovative and are prepared to take risks,” Holder stressed.