The eighth cohort of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation and FLOW (BEF/FLOW) $20 challenge highlighted that more of the island’s youth are exploring opening their own businesses.
The Student Market Place, held at the Sky Mall, Haggatt Hall, was buzzing with activity. Some 60 businesses from 110 students of 17 schools set up shop for the event.
For the first time, the Barbados Community College joined the competition with their students from the Health Science Department participating, and the St Michael’s School had the biggest group of entrants.
The students opened a variety of business ventures. There was a wide cross section on display with some delving into the service industry, apparel, culinary arts, painting and photography.
Chief Executive Officer of the BEF, Celeste Foster applauded secondary school teachers and BEF ambassadors for integrating entrepreneurship into the school system. She reiterated calls for entrepreneurship to be implemented within the school curriculum saying, “every child should have the opportunity to go through a module of entrepreneurship”.
Foster also revealed that a number of graduates from the BEF either sought to open their open their own business or continue the enterprise they started during the competition.
“We want to see more of these businesses that started out as $20 challenge businesses converting to registered businesses,” she said.
“We also have found that even if they don’t start their business immediately, a lot of them talk about when they finish their studies starting their own businesses, so the seed has really and truly been planted.”