Success for YES

Most start-up businesses doing well

The Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme (YES) is reporting an 88 per cent success rate among start-up businesses it has assisted since it began operating 20 years ago.

Manager Selma Greene attributes this to “critical support”, which she says YES provides throughout the process, ensuring a greater chance of success.

“We measure success not only in terms of the development of the business and its contribution to economic development –– that goes without saying; but, for us, youth empowerment is critical, as well as youth development,” she said.

Earlier this week, YES embarked on yet another training programme for Barbadians between the ages of 18 and 35, who are interested in starting their own businesses. The areas of interest include agriculture, beauty care, construction and veterinary services.

Some of the participants taking part in a networking exercise.
Some of the participants taking part in a networking exercise.
Some of the products produced by young entrepreneurs.
Some of the products produced by young entrepreneurs.

Greene said an average of 200 Barbadians gravitated towards the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and Youth-backed initiative annually and interest had not waned in the past 15 years.

“Young people have indicated that they want to become self-employed and especially within this particular climate where employment is a critical challenge and issue for young people, that interest continues to be high because they’re seeking assistance to be able to transform their talents and their skills into viable businesses so that they can employ themselves and create employment for other people,” she said.

“We know that the reality is that because of the current situation employment is not going to be easy to come by, especially for young people. They will not be the first persons who will be employed because of their inexperience; so they have to create opportunities for themselves, and entrepreneurship is certainly the way to go.

“We start off by training those persons, not only in terms of management, but also in terms of their own personal development, because in a lot of instances the characteristics that they have are transferred to the business. So if you are determined and innovative and visionary . . . they are transferred to the business,” the YES manager added.

Ahead of the official start of the YES training programme, owner of Trusted Care Providers Inc., Kimberley Sandiford, told participants some of her experiences since starting her business last year.

She spoke about some of the challenges she faced starting out, including difficulty obtaining liability insurance for her business which involves care of the elderly, children and pets.


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