Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Project Entrepreneur Students Shine

Published:Monday | June 8, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Bag owner Kerry-Kay Barley (left) explains the types of leather and materials used to make her bags to (from right) Antoinette Latty-Johnson, Hervin Rowe and Donnette Byfield at the Learning for Life Expo held on May 28, at Red Stripe.
Senior Communications Manager at Red Stripe Levaughn Flynn (second left) in one of the booths at the Learning for Life Expo with (from left) Tevaun Brown of TB Art Graphics, Freddy Drummond and Marvin Francis, both of Double 5 Productions.
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The Diageo Learning for Life training programme is now in its eighth year and has been a catalyst for young unemployed Jamaicans to transform their lives through education. The most recent batch of participants enrolled in Project Entrepreneur, a programme which equips prospective business people with the skills to create a business plan, manage a budget and market their brand and services.

Last month, after completing the Human Employment and Resource Training NTA Level 1 programme, the participants held an expo at Red Stripe. The display booths included art and craft, natural juices, bridal and women's wear, graphic artists, landscaping, an all-natural lip gloss, and a mini wholesale.

Oshane Ivey, proprietor of River Vibe Juices, had one of the busiest booths. His natural juices, with unique combinations such as jackfruit and locust (stinking toe), were a hit, and the experience has left him more confident.

"This expo has boosted my confidence significantly. I'm now hungrier than before to venture into business," said Ivey. "I think myself and the other participants did all we could to showcase our best to the staff at Red Stripe, and I love and appreciate the feedback that I got from each person that tried my product."

Ivey added that, overall, Project Entrepreneur has opened his eyes to the myriad of possibilities for his young company.

"This programme has made me start thinking about business with an open mind and to constantly come up with innovations," Ivey explained.

Project Entrepreneur is one of three currently running programmes Red Stripe offers under the Diageo Learning for Life programme. The others are Project Bartender and Project Grow.

Since 2008, Red Stripe has impacted more than 11,000 lives through the Diageo Learning for Life. Senior Communications Manager at Red Stripe LeVaughn Flynn said the programme continues to create new possibilities for the participants with the goal of giving them the opportunity to be successful.

"I think the opportunity was great for them as they got the experience of what it's like to participate at an expo, where you have to first grab person's attention with your display, sell your brand on the spot in less than 60 seconds and, overall, get familiar with marketing your products to various personalities in a one-on-one setting," said Flynn.