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Building Blocks Project participant Amanda Griffith received her certificate from Chief Community Development Officer, Sandra Greenidge.

Youth get entrepreneurial and life skills training

Over 150 young men and women are now prepared to explore the prospects of owning their own businesses.

This is a result of successfully completing the Ministry of Youth and Community Empowerment’s Entrepreneurial and Life Skills Development Training Programme, which is part of the Building Blocks Project.

The training was designed to equip them with the requisite tools, skills and knowledge to inculcate proactive behaviours, develop competencies and build capacities to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations and effectively manage their business ventures.

Addressing the closing and awards ceremony held at the Parkinson Resource Centre, The Pine, St Michael, yesterday, Minister of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce, the Hon. Dwight Sutherland commended the initiative, describing it as “timely and meritorious”.

He said that the Ministry’s effort to transform the blocks across Barbados into variable economic enterprises is by no means an extraordinary meagre undertaking.

“The implementation of this urgently required and critical strategic policy initiative is guaranteed to reap tremendous dividends of empowering, legitimizing, nurturing and challenging the natural entrepreneurial instincts of Barbados’ marginalize youth.

“By building valuable business skills and helping these individuals design, create, manage and sustain their own unique income generating creativities, Barbados moves closer to eliminating poverty, curbing unemployment, reducing crime and bolstering and entrepreneurial society and enriching the society, while simultaneously reversing sluggish economic growth,” he pointed out.

Minister Sutherland praised the participants for ceasing the opportunity to retool and possibly reinvent themselves through the ground-breaking capacity-building and mentorship support programme, expressing, “By taking up this mantle to invest in self, you become the source of pride for working families and the cornerstones of your various communities”.

He also announced that the Ministry of Small Business, Entrepreneurship and Commerce will be providing support to the Building Blocks Project and to other entrepreneurs through supplying seed capital via The Trust Loan Unit, and that The Trust Loan Unit in collaboration with the Financial Literacy Bureau and the Small Business Association have also formalize a cluster initiative for small businesses within the creative industries and the agricultural sectors.

“We say cluster because we don’t only want to provide the funds, but we want you as bidding entrepreneurs to support each other in clusters. Whereby, when you see something going wrong with your related partner in the cluster, you provide the necessary support and helping hand as well as guidance and your expertise.”

The programme was facilitated through the Ministry’s Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES), Youth Development Programme (YDP) and the Community Development Department. (TL)

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