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Nov 30, 2017

The Convention for Entrepreneurship

Getting a business off the ground can be a daunting prospect for any entrepreneur. Today, an event took place that brought together players from many sectors who offered support on how to start up a business from concept to financing. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The third Annual National Entrepreneurship Convention was staged today at the Biltmore as the conclusion of a month-long of activities celebrating entrepreneurs and the work to stimulate local business ventures. The event is designed to create a platform that brings together key players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem with the purpose of sharing ideas, creating awareness of existing and new business and investment opportunities, promoting innovation and building an entrepreneurship culture.


Lejia Melanie Gideon

Lejia Melanie Gideon, General Manager, BELTRAIDE

“It is how we continue to celebrate entrepreneurship at all levels—how do we not only celebrate it, but support it. We talk about accessing financing; we talk about how is it that you get your idea off the ground; we talk about how is it as a government and other key stakeholders what are our roles to encourage the development of the ecosystem so that Belize as a country could develop through entrepreneurship.”


Vonetta Burrell

Vonetta Burrell, Public Relations Manager, B.E.L.

“It fits in line with our mission to simulate national development. We recognize that supporting the business sector is key to the country’s development and the work that BELTRAIDE is doing will go a long way.”


The event also featured an expo where business owners from across the country were able to put on display their products and showcase the services they have to offer. Panel discussions with stakeholders also engaged attendees throughout the day. But how efficient are the services offered by BELTRAIDE and its units? Specifically so as some would say starting up a business is not as easy as one, two, three.


Lejia Melanie Gideon

“Starting up a business or starting anything new—having a job, building a house, going to school—all of those take a leap of faith. As a consequence, you all have a support network; if you got to school, you have your family, your friends, your auntie…whatever. If you are going to open up your business, you also need your support. So BELTRAIDE and our partners, we know the leap of faith to open your business is huge and so BELTRAIDE is how do we mentally and capacity-wise prepare you to take that leap of faith. And partnering with our financial institution, how do they assist you financially to take that leap of faith.”


Technical functions such as investments, innovation development, export development and trade as well as job skills preparedness are key services offered by BELTRAIDE. And one of the many panelists, Kay Menzies, says that entrepreneurs must understand entrepreneurial ecosystem to succeed in any business venture.


Kay Menzies

Kay Menzies, Managing Director, Karl H. Menzies

“It’s a fancy term for something very simply. In terms of an entrepreneurial ecosystem is basically how we help each other to get ahead. Everything involved in being an entrepreneur…you cannot be in a business alone. You have to work with your banker, you have to work with your financiers. If you are starting a business with a lot of employees, there might be somebody that can start a kitchen next to you and that is an entrepreneur. So it’s a matter of entrepreneurs finding ways to get together to make entrepreneurship grow. The exponential growth of entrepreneurship depends on an ecosystem. And an ecosystem is simple and logical; one business leads to another business leads to another business and everybody grows. That’s the beauty of it all; everybody grows, the economy grows and Belize improves.”


The theme for ENTRECON 2017 is “Connecting Ideas—Building Opportunities.” Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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