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May 23, 2019

A Mentorship Programme to Support Female Entrepreneurs

Empowered for Work and Self was the theme for a mentorship networking session held today by BELTRAIDE at the Biltmore Plaza. Through the Small Business Development Centre, female entrepreneurs were engaged to become part of a SHE-Mentor programme in which budding entrepreneurs can acquire knowledge and support on their path to having a successful business. News Five’s Duane Moody has this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Fifteen women entrepreneurs from across the country, from artisans to persons in the agro processing and business process outsourcing industries were successful applicants for BELTRAIDE’s 2019 female entrepreneurship programme, which was launched earlier this year. Today, its hallmark event called “SHEMentors” is looking at providing a platform for the women to connect, share ideas and empower each other in their journey to having successful businesses.


Monique Usher

Monique Usher, Acting Manager, SBDC Belize, BELTRAIDE

“For this event, the end goal is to have them cultivate the “SHEmentor” network, so creating the first of its kind mentorship network in country to have women look at expanding their networks here in country to assist them in country. So that’s one of the takeaways from the event. We also have activities that will prompt them to think about ways to scale their business. And of course we’ve invited other guest mentors to be a part of the programme to assist with possible pairing of mentor and mentee.”


One such mentor is no stranger to entrepreneurial work. Dionne Chamberlain-Miranda is known for her motivational skills and consultancy in terms of developing a business. She shared her story in an effort for the attendees to understand and appreciate their journey to success. Chamberlain-Miranda explains why multiple failures constitute success.


Dionne Chamberlain-Miranda

Dionne Chamberlain-Miranda, Managing Director, Chamberlain Consulting Limited

“Failure is a part of success so you have to prepare yourself for that. And a lot of entrepreneurs like to say I want to become an entrepreneur because I don’t want a boss. You have a hundred bosses when you are doing your own business. And work is a lot harder as an entrepreneur because it is on top of you. When you are building your brand, you have to make sure that you are doing it every minute of the day, nonstop. As entrepreneurs in Belize, we have to be open to growth all the time; we have to be open to training, educating ourselves more because walkman was sexy a long time ago. Now people are using MP3s and even higher. You cannot stay where you began; you have to continuously upgrade and grow and unless we realise that as entrepreneurs, we are going to be stuck and we are going to find our business become just like Kodak which no longer exist. So many companies in Belize no longer exist because they didn’t reengineer themselves, the managers, the owners or the business.”


The Small Business Development Centre offers two core business development services—business advisory services and training capacity building for clients who access its services. Acting Manager, Monique Usher says that the female entrepreneurs will be able to tap into the support network that will be set up by the end of the session.


Monique Usher

“This network will essentially allow for us to create a support network with women who are in business and of course to look at ways how they could connect individually and also share their experiences, identify some of the challenges that they encounter in their entrepreneurial journey and allow others, who might be going through a similar experience, to look at mitigation of those experiences or challenges that they have. The idea of today’s event is to create the network where we are looking at extending the network. We have participants attending here today, but looking at having the women take ownership of the network and extending it to other possible invited persons to be a part of the network.”


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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