The 2023 Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) $20 Challenge has officially been launched.
During a brief press conference on Wednesday, former participants and stakeholders gathered to signal the start of this year’s competition which is popular amongst entrepreneurs.
BEF Executive Chairman Celeste Foster told attendees that the challenge, now in its 11th year, continues to have a significant impact on young people looking to start new and innovative businesses.
“The challenge affords young people the opportunity to gain real-life insight into starting and running a business, in a safe environment where they may unleash their creativity. They are able to take reasonable risks while being mentored by seasoned business professionals, as they navigate the vagaries of entrepreneurship.
“Our multi-pronged approach provides training for our professional network and educational partners alike, since we believe that everyone has an important role to play in developing the entrepreneurial landscape we seek. Barbados, sometime in the near future, can be the entrepreneurial hub of the region,” she explained.
Representatives of Scotiabank, this year’s main sponsor, were also present to mark the start of the programme, with Retail and Small Business Manager Carla Boyce remarking that the financial institution was particularly delighted to see the buzz the programme continues to generate among students.
“The BEF and Scotiabank have a longstanding collaboration that has continuously sought to promote enterprising behaviours amongst our youth and help them discover their full potential…. We’ve found a great partnership and take this opportunity to commend them as they continue to drive entrepreneurship and the development of our young people here in Barbados.
“We really would not be able to make an impact in the lives of these young people without the dedication of the BEF,” she said.
This year’s challenge takes place across 16 schools targeting at least 10 students ages 12-19 per school, for a minimum total of 160 students.
Registration will remain open until October 31. Members of the public are also encouraged to visit Sky Mall on Saturday for the Pop Up Market Day to support and interact with the young entrepreneurs in the challenge.