Participants of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF)/FLOW $20 Challenge demonstrated corporate social responsibility this morning by donating proceeds from their businesses to 17 charities.
The students from seven schools across the island created a total of 22 businesses and donated nearly $4,000 of their earnings for a good cause.
The charity presentation, in its second year, was held at the Cave Hill School of Business. Speaking at the event, BEF chief executive officer Celeste Foster encouraged the young business owners to actively engage in charitable efforts.
Expressing her pleasure at the level of innovation exhibited by the small enterprise owners, she pointed to the need for more entrepreneurial teams in the business sector.
“We have this thing of Barbadians don’t trust each other, we can’t work together. We are hoping to break that barrier, so if we start in schools and people start to work as teams, they learn trust,” Foster said.
She said her organization sought to enable and inspire thousands of students annually through the programme.
“Our goal is to work with other partners like the Small Business Association, or those who are doing similar programmes, so that we can touch 3,000 students a year. That is what we want to see,” Foster added.
“We are transforming lives….What is important is that it allows our young people to look at life and see opportunities.”
Director of Caribbean Transit Solutions Khalil Bryan reminded the young entrepreneurs that they were living in a world of endless possibilities and it was important that they “find the thing that makes you want to get up in the morning”.
The 2015 winner of the Central Bank of Barbados’ Billion Dollar Dreams Competition impressed on the innovators the importance of knowing their worth and the worth of their products.
“Don’t let anybody shortchange you. You took this from your mind, you created a product and sold it to people,” he urged, adding that they should also value their time and use
“The most important resource that we have on this earth is time . . . . You can get back energy, you can get back money . . . but you can never get back time. So spend time in places that you care about, spend time with people that you care about, and continue creating greatness.”