Participants in the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation Inc. (BEF) Community Challenge are being lauded for their creativity and innovative ideas.
During an award ceremony on Saturday at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business and Management, the mentors and facilitators of the programme congratulated the youngsters on a job well done and spoke highly of their determination, positive attitudes and never give up attitude.
The challenge had two components — the agriculture business challenge, which was sponsored by City of Bridgetown Credit Union and the national vocational qualification in agricultural entrepreneurship (level 1), which was sponsored by Massy Foundation.
Out of the 11 businesses that were created, Organika, created by Keriah Scantlebury and Nia Bellamy, received the Micro Business of the Year award.
Organika also walked away with the Spirit of Enterprise: Social Impact award.
Organika specialises in healthy cereals and flours from root crops. Products include squash and spinach mix, sweet potato and cassava flour and okra, spinach and dried papaya snacks.
Destiny Trotman and Christiane Tull also won two awards with their business Lowtide Soft Furnishings.
They won the Spirit of Enterprise: Personal Transformation award and Excellence in Manufacturing award.
Lowtide Soft Furnishings is a home decor business with distinctly local and Caribbean themes.
A special round of applause was given to Royston Hoyte and Zachary Moore of HotSteppers, which received the Spirit of Enterprise: Business Pivot award.
In a short speech, Hoyte spoke about the trials he and his business partner experienced. He explained that initially the business was to focus on producing plantain, breadfruit and sweet potato ice cream but their ice cream making venture failed.
Hoyte said that he and Moore’s backs were up against the wall but they did not give up and changed their business idea.
HotSteppers manufactures pepper sauces, which include local fruits such as mango, sorrel and tamarind.
The other awards went to Aliah Hazzard, Jasmine Phillips and Peter Nicholls of Zamar Ltd, which won the Best Cooperative award; Shaliyah Maynard of Cherry on Top, which walked away with the Rising Star award; Nicia Thompson of Diverse Beauty, which won the Spirit of Enterprise: Resilience award; and Sophia Howell of Green Bouquets, which was awarded the Innovation and Creativity: Product/Service award.
During the ceremony programme ambassador Joan Underwood encouraged the young entrepreneurs to always be proactive as a businessperson.
“In the environment within which you are operating, you have volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity and they are not going anywhere. That’s the terrain we have to learn to navigate,” she said.
“Now as you do so, there are two approaches that you can adopt. You can be reactive, where you focus on things that concern you but over which you have neither influence or control … and the other downside of that approach is that by focusing on things that concern you, over which you have neither influence or control, you actually shrink your areas of influence and control. So, I invite you instead, to be proactive and to focus on things that you can influence and control … the challenge is to be proactive, rather than reactive.”
The BEF started an agricultural entrepreneurship pilot programme in 2017 with the goal of developing the entrepreneurial skills in youth already involved in agriculture and embedding entrepreneurship with agriculture in order to create business opportunities in the agricultural sector.
The programme is for entrepreneurs from age 18 to 30 and this award ceremony was for the second cohort of the participants.
Thirty-five young entrepreneurs took part in the programme. (SZB)