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Nov 23, 2016

The Best of Future Belizean Business at U.B. Marketing Expo

A former U.S. president once said that the chief business of his country is business. There have been efforts down the years to move Belize to that credo, and the best place to start is at the University of Belize, whose students today displayed the fruits of a semester’s worth of work in marketing and business development techniques. The annual Marketing Expo features two divergent initiatives, with the marketing class designing businesses from the ground up and trying their best to convince visitors to buy their product or service, while small business students displayed their efforts to develop and reposition an existing business in a fierce competitive market. In the end, as correspondent Aaron Humes reports, the expo is about more than class grades; it is about showcasing the innovation and creativity of these future businessmen and women.

 

Aaron Humes, Reporting

While only time will tell if any of the twenty-eight businesses occupying the King’s Room of the Ramada Princess Hotel this morning are successful, you can color Marketing and Small Business Lecturer at the University of Belize, Eda Arzu, a proud teacher.

 

Eda Arzu

Eda Arzu, Marketing Lecturer, University of Belize

“I am impressed, and I am proud of them, because you can see they have done so much in their work and the output is very fruitful, so yes I am good…I am impressed with them.”

 

Arzu believes that a majority of these start-up businesses have what it takes to survive: they just need to be nurtured and assisted with finance and opportunity. The former is something the University does not have in abundance; it will do its best to provide the latter beyond today’s exposition. But the announced successor to the Beer of Belize, Coastal Beer, can’t wait to tap into the market with a sweet alternative to the venerable Belikin line.

 

Stefan Coleman

Stefan Coleman, Coastal Beer

“Everyone [knows] that Belize only [has] one main distributor, which is Bowen and Bowen; so we decided to bring a new beer into Belize, [but] not only into Belize; after the Expo we are going to try and export more beers. We give our group three years to expand our product if the public likes it.”

 

Melissa Usher

Melissa Usher, Coastal Beer

“The beer is a light drink, so we are catering the drink more to females, working females, and it’s for persons eighteen and older.”

 

The prize for the most motivated and excited business certainly goes to the Belize Maya Adrenaline Eco-Park, which promises an experience for everyone – and we do mean everyone.

 

Patricia Noble

Patricia Noble, Belize Maya Adrenaline Eco-Park

“What makes us different is that we cater to people with physical disabilities and cognitive disorders. This is done through the installation of ramps.”

 

Lorraine Clare, Belize Maya Adrenaline Eco-Park

“We have a tour operator with us, that is in our class, that we are depending on heavily to pitch this idea to people out there, because he has the experience; we do not have the experience. Right now this is just a plan that we came up with because we saw the need for it.”

 

What’s the answer to life, the universe and everything? We don’t know. But to get your hair and skin looking its best, you can’t go wrong with the products from Coconut Dreamz – because coconut oil, these young men tell us, fixes everything.

 

Terryl Roches

Terryl Roches, Coconut Dreamz

“The average coconut oil basically pertains to cooking oil; now, with our product, we innovated that with moisturizing your skin, adding to your hair, and also for that scar, that long-time scar you would want to take out, it adds to that.”

 

Justin Gillett

Justin Gillett, Coconut Dreamz

“What we notice is that a lot of people are going natural; a lot of people are going for that natural look, so we decided to create a product that will help that natural look; we see a lot of females going with that curly hair, a lot of males – you can look at us – with dreads; and we decided to create a product that will complement that, that will help that process.”

 

And once you have dealt with making your body look good, you’ll want to adorn it with patriotic-themed swimwear from Aqua Jewels.

 

Adina Belisle

Adina Belisle, Aqua Jewels

“We decided to go to Belizean-themed swimwear because we noticed that there was a lacking of Belizean-themed swimwear on a whole in the market – because I haven’t seen any; we’re at Princess and Princess doesn’t even have one swimwear that represents Belize in their gift shop.”

 

Kristy Thomas

Kristy Thomas, Aqua Jewels

“We want our women to be confident, so that when they step out in these swimwear, that they will feel happy to know they’re representing their country, representing the colors, and they will feel proud to wear a Belizean-themed swimsuit.”

 

So when you wear Aqua Jewels swimwear in the wavy pool at Belize Maya Adrenaline Eco-Park, skin and hair burnished by Coconut Dreamz and sipping a cool, sweet Coastal Beer, sometime in the future, remember where you heard their names first. Aaron Humes reporting, for News Five.

 

According to the University, the Expo is attracting many business investors. Prizes were awarded to the top booths by a panel of judges.

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