The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) gathered ten schools at Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall today for its Marketplace, as part of the annual $20 challenge.
The $20 challenge, an annual entrepreneurship competition which is now into its sixth year, offers secondary students the opportunity to create innovative enterprises with an initial investment of $20.
Students are expected to develop their businesses into successful enterprises over a period of six to eight weeks.
Stressing on the need to implement the programme in all the public and private schools across the island, project manager Keith Miller argued that it was important that students got a first-hand look at creating an enterprise and being involved in a company.
“We need people who can generate income by building businesses and employing other people [and] that’s not taught at school,” said Miller.
He added that the project was not only aimed at created entrepreneurs but about educating students from a young age on the value of enterprise.
“We’re not trying to build a whole new generation of entrepreneurs because we’re not all inclined to be an entrepreneur, not everybody likes to be their own boss and not everybody likes to have the responsibility, some people would rather have a job but what we would all be is enterprising.
By enterprising, people who think for themselves, people who use their own initiative people who don’t have to be told what to do but will actually get on and do it, people who are creative… which at the end of the day, Barbados and most countries need today.”
The Marketplace saw 31 businesses on display from the ten of the 17 schools involved in the project.
Owner of Touch of Class, Sierra Hamblin of Harrison College said the challenge awakened her entrepreneurial spirit.
“I want to keep on being an entrepreneur because more and more people keep getting laid off, you have to create opportunities for yourself, and you have to make business. If you don’t get out there and do something, nobody is going to hire you,” said the 5th form student.