Scores of Young Entrepreneurs Finish YEA Business Plan Training Session this Month

YEA facilitators, staffers and trainees at the completion of the training course …
YEA facilitators, staffers and trainees at the completion of the training course …

This month more than five dozen young entrepreneurs completed the Youth Economy Agency (YEA) training programme for 2023 – acquiring skills and tools to plan their businesses , through the Agency’s Entrepreneurial Development Programme.

Successful participants were each awarded an Angel Fund, containing a cash grant of EC$5,000.00 to invest in their business.

According to a YEA spokesperson –  64 trainees enrolled in the second edition of the Business Planning course. The first Business Planning group, trained in June, numbered 92. YEA also concluded training for 60 participants in “ Introduction to Digital Marketing,” in August.

With support from the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan), the aspiring business owners embarked on a four-week course of instruction, including three weeks of interactive classroom sessions at the YEA office on Chaussee Road, in Castries. The course was also conducted at the ICT Access Centre on Commercial Street, in Vieux Fort.

Participants were tasked to produce a winning business plan to guide their own incipient ventures. Finally, they had to pitch their business plans to an expert panel including business coaches, course facilitators, YEA officers and members of its board of directors, and representatives of partner agencies such as Export Saint Lucia and Invest Saint Lucia.

The theme of this round of training was: “Empowering Minds, Building Futures.”

On December 12 the latest batch of trainees took part in a brief certificate ceremony at the Bay Gardens Bougainvillea Conference Centre. YEA Training & Development Officer, Ms. Olivia Jn Baptiste, encouraged the recipients to see this certificate ceremony as a steppingstone to greater success.

She stated: “The future is not something that just happens; it is something we create. It is a collective effort, a collaborative endeavour. Your minds, now equipped with knowledge and fortified by this training, are the architects of the futures you aspire to build.

“I urge you to go forth with the confidence that you are not alone in this journey. You are part of a community of empowered minds, a network of individuals who believe in the power of innovation and the potential within each one of you. Congratulations on this achievement, young entrepreneurs.”

Jn Baptiste added, “As you step into the future, remember that the seeds we planted here will grow into the landscapes you dream of creating. Each certificate you hold is a testament to the resilience, the passion, and the futures you are building.”

Several special awards were presented, in the various categories:

From Cedar Heights in Vieux Fort, the winner of the YEA award for Most Outstanding Business Plan was Josiah Antoine of Island Tea.

From New Development, Soufriere, the recipient of the award for Most Innovative Business Idea was Moanna Calixte-Octave of Mo’s Products for her cocoa-based line.

The YEA EcoVation Excellence Award went to agriculturist Imnah Alexander of Haven Farm, Dacretin, Choiseul.

Additionally, facilitator Deborah Nicholas-Charlery recognised Kizzie Theodore (Kizzie’s Delicious Bites), Annice Jn Panel (Helen Luxury Villas), and Tennyson Estephane (Dorvil’s Automobile) for their tenacity and teamwork.

Dr. Thecla Lewis, Director of Operations and Human Resource Consultant, from Lewis Industries Ltd delivered the feature address, while His Excellency Peter Chen, Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan), also delivered brief remarks.

Soca artiste – Ezra “De Fun Machine” Augustin entertained the crowd with two of his hit tunes. Testimonials were also provided by Jerona Antal (Decor Delivered) and Yannick Nicholas (Yanz05 Mobile Detailing).

Since YEA’s formal opening in April of this year, it has disbursed in excess of 350 grants, trained over 220 young people in Business Planning and Digital Marketing, and facilitated a further 30 through its mentorship programme.

The Agency looks forward to supporting many more youth entrepreneurs in the year ahead.

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