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Jul 13, 2015

CEBO Provides Training for Youth Entrepreneurs

Hilary Brown

The Department of Youth Services, in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat, is doing a follow-up training to Creativity for Employment and Business Opportunity. The regional initiative was piloted in five CARICOM member states back in 2012 and has now been introduced to a total of thirteen countries in the region. It looks at providing youths with the skills and the support to create and market a business and monitor its profitability. Initially, twenty-six persons graduated the program and now, CEBO representatives are back in the country to assist a handful of those participants who had the best business concepts and plans and motivation.

 

Hilary Brown, Program Manager, Culture & Community Development, CARICOM Secretariat

“CEBO is important to us because it is linked with the mandate from our heads of government to facilitate youth entrepreneurship as one of the strategies to address job creation and growth and to address some of the difficulties that youth face in getting employment. It is linked with the report that was done by the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development in 2010 that was presented to our heads of government that did a comprehensive analysis of the state of youth in CARICOM and in the CSME and that was one of the strong recommendations.”

 

Joseph Card

Joseph Card, Department of Youth Services

“What we want to do is take a cadre, the best of the best out of that group, and make sure that we work with them to develop bankable business plans so that those plans can be presented to access capital so that they can start their businesses. This is just another way of executing or conducting youth development and using the process of enterprise development as a tool, to make sure that young people are employed or are able to take care of their lives and live their lives meaningfully through business opportunities as well.”

 

Delva

Delva, Participant

“We came up with our business plan. They had us set up like a whole setting like a real business. We had to draft our business plan, we had to get it approved and then go to the bank, give them the set amount of what we needed, what we wanted to profit and then they reviewed the plan and they accepted it—just like regular business world. And then they had to accept it and grant us the money. They have lotta young people weh have the drive and the skills but just noh have the money. Yo can’t just get up and tell somebody to lend yo money. Yo need the investment. And yo got lotta people weh got the education, the drive, but don’t have the funds.”

 

Hilary Brown

“That is of course a challenge but one of the approaches that we always take with CEBO is that we always start with partnership meeting. So in every country that we have been to, we meet with the partners. Some of them may be from the traditional funding sector, but a lot of them are from the non-traditional funding sector—persons that can assist with training, with mentoring. It can be a youth business trust where it exists. So the idea is to find other partners who can also support the CEBO graduates.”

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