Saturday morning at Skymall was Market Day for participants in the Mr Executive segment of the $20 Challenge, a segment of the 2023 Interschool Mr Executive Challenge.
The $20 challenge initiative was conceptualised to target males by Winston Cumberbatch, the creator of the Mr Executive Challenge and is facilitated by the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation.
Celeste Foster, Executive Chairman of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation, who was present at Market Day, said the Foundation found that the participants in their initial programmes were predominantly women.
She assured, “It is not that we are leaving out females, it is filling a gap that exists in the ecosystem currently.”
The programme started in January and includes 26 students drawn from Ellerslie School, The Alleyne School, Graydon Sealy School, The Lodge School and St Leonards Boys’ School. Foster noted that even though this is the third edition of Mr Executive, it is the first one that has an interschool element where team members are drawn from a cross-section of schools.
The groups work closely with teachers and mentors who are old scholars of the respective schools. “The idea is to expose our young men to the tenets of being a gentleman, they get adjudged on punctuality, deportment, how to speak and present themselves and the market is about all the business,” Foster said.
Although it is a team effort, the experience will highlight one person who excels.
She confirmed, “At the end of the day, the programme Mr Executive is about how we can transform our young men into young executives, so that is the ethos behind the programme.”
Henry Innis, President of the Lodge Old Scholar Association was very impressed with the hard work by his team. Though challenges sourcing some of the raw materials for the original product they had in mind forced them to pivot, the team made the necessary adjustments to meet the mandates of the programme.
“They did a good job, they had to figure out how to work together while being at great distances apart. They are from various parishes in Barbados, they don’t go to the same schools, so they had to figure out how to do their production process and interrelate with each other and get things done,” he added.
The range of products on display included soaps, glass engraving, creams, sugar scrubs and confectioneries. Participants from previous challenges also had the opportunity to showcase their products. In a full- circle moment previous winners Liquid Desire returned to the exhibition with their speciality pepper sauce and liqueurs, which are now available at the A1 group of stores. Male-run businesses from Trust Loans also marketed their range of goods.
When Barbados TODAY visited the students’ booths a few of them had already sold out. However, they were putting the lessons that they had to good use and were actively engaging with shoppers to secure orders even if they had already depleted the stock they had on hand.
All of the groups adopted a professional approach in their interactions but one of the standouts was Urban Sensation, selling a line of natural cosmetics including moisturizers and soaps. The six-member group had an elaborate setup. They wore white shirts with their purple logo attached in front a matching balloon arrangement which added to their aesthetic. Though drawn from different schools, the commonality was the passion for business and entrepreneurship.
Micah Taitt, accounting manager for the group shared that despite their focus on business, his team would be donating some of the proceeds of their sales to the Precious Touch Foundation to help children suffering with terminal diseases get their wishes granted. (STT)