The finalists of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) $20 Challenge have been encouraged to keep their entrepreneurial spirit and creativity alive.
Founder of the BEF, Keith Miller, delivering the feature address at the awards ceremony at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination last weekend, stressed that the challenge was a pivotal step towards creating an enterprising Barbados.
“When you make a profit the first time you open a business, it is certainly a benchmark move, and when a young person discovers that [they have] the capacity to generate their own income sufficiently to cover their own expenses, it is an enlightening moment that can change their lives forever. There is nothing as liberating as finding out you can control your own destiny,” said the champion of the $20 Challenge.
“The $20 Challenge has reached a pivotal point where we are now ready to go into mainstream education. We are ready to deliver the $20 Challenge as a package to be part of the national curriculum,” he declared.
The BEF founding father said the challenge sought to “inspire, train and facilitate a new generation of enterprising Barbadians” but also to demonstrate to educators the benefits of enterprise-based teaching. He expressed that the island’s tests on academic performance were disadvantageous to students as they categorise students into “successors and failures”.
“Entrepreneurship is open to everybody and it is not based on academic performance. It is based on how you do in your job, so it is open to all; everybody has the opportunity to be an entrepreneur,” said Miller.
“We are basically filling a void in the education system because the normal school curriculum, the way it is structured, it is not possible to offer a hands-on experiential education where people experience what you are trying to teach them.”
The eighth cycle of the $20 Challenge saw the participation of more than 150 students from 40 public and private schools across the island. The Microbusiness of the Year 2018/19 Award went to Alexis Williams from the St Winifred’s School for her business, A Splash of Colour. Williams also won the Innovation Award in Arts and Craft.