Thursday, May 9th, 2013

With more than 80 students from four secondary schools in south-east Trinidad benefitting from an intensive training course, the business skills development programme implemented by the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED) has realised its main objective of steering young people to the world of business.

Having completed their 12 contact hours of training last week, the students of Guayaguayare Secondary and Rio Claro West Secondary join the ranks of their peers at Mayaro Secondary and Rio Claro East Secondary who took part in the MIPED training initiative which was facilitated by lecturers from the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP).

Started by energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago in 2002, MIPED facilitates the development of small business entrepreneurs and contribute to the development of the south-eastern community by providing a combination of financial and technical support to interested persons. To date, the organisation has invested over $45 million and created more than 2,000 permanent and 4,000 temporary jobs.

MIPED Manager, Rachael Hosein, explained the vision for the training: “We believe that MIPED has a part to play in supporting the development of a strong and vibrant entrepreneurial class in Mayaro and environs. For this reason we targeted the younger members of the community who will be making early steps toward career paths. At the onset, the training will help bolster their school-based training, but the real objective is to energise these young people into starting their own businesses and we are providing them with the tools and support to do so successfully.”

Sammyella Grant, a Form Four Principles of Business student at Guayaguayare Secondary, felt empowered after the intensive training. “Completing the business plan was a bit challenging but thanks to the guidance of our business teacher and the lecturers from YTEPP, we were able to grasp the fundamentals of the course. Although it will help in my studies, this wasn’t just about training for school; this was really training for life. It has opened my eyes about going into business one day, and with this training and the support of MIPED, I know that I have a great head start.”

As part of the training initiative, each school chose a unique business idea, and either individually or in groups, the students covered all aspects of creating a business development plan for micro-entrepreneurs, including registration details, developing a marketing plan, as well as preparing cash flow projections and a projected income statement.

The students of Rio Claro West Secondary were equally inspired as reflected in the remarks of student Janine Pilgrim. “This was a wonderful exercise and we learnt a lot. It made the elements of the syllabus come to life and helped cement the principles in our minds by practical application of the technical knowledge. There is no doubt that this training will help us succeed in our upcoming exams and as a bonus, it has shown us that we have the potential to be successful business owners.”

As an added incentive to the students, following the submission of all the completed business plans, there will be an evaluation by MIPED and YTEPP with awards presented to the top students.

Giving full marks to the initiative was Christo Cave, Director, Entrepreneurial Development and Support Services, YTEPP. “Entrepreneurial training represents a significant component of YTEPP’s mission to develop young people. This partnership with MIPED is an ideal opportunity to expose business-minded students to the dynamics of entrepreneurial thinking. It is an excellent foundation and we expect that it will grow and come to fruition with the establishment of new and innovative businesses across Mayaro and environs in setting an example for the entire nation to follow,” Cave explained.

Having completed their training in business plan preparation, students of Rio Claro West Secondary give some feedback to Rachael Hosein (standing, right), Manager, MIPED; and Dave Mootoo, facilitator, YTEPP.

Having completed their training in business plan preparation, students of Rio Claro West Secondary give some feedback to Rachael Hosein (standing, right), Manager, MIPED; and Dave Mootoo, facilitator, YTEPP.

Guayaguayare Secondary School Form Four student, Sammyella Grant, confidently presents her business plan to members of her group as well as (from left), Dawn Scott-Jack, principal; Pauline Williams, loans officer, MIPED; Sunita Bicramdass, teacher; and Wayne Griffith, Micro Entrepreneurship Technical Supervisor at YTEPP.

Guayaguayare Secondary School Form Four student, Sammyella Grant, confidently presents her business plan to members of her group as well as (from left), Dawn Scott-Jack, principal; Pauline Williams, loans officer, MIPED; Sunita Bicramdass, teacher; and Wayne Griffith, Micro Entrepreneurship Technical Supervisor at YTEPP.