Festival queen focuses on entrepreneurship
St Elizabeth will be the first of four parishes to see a youth-based entrepreneurial initiative being undertaken by Miss Jamaica Festival Queen 2017, Dainalyn Swaby as a part of her national project.
'Learn. Earn. Return', launched by Swaby at the St Elizabeth Parish Library in her hometown of Black River last week Friday, aims to improve the capacity for youth to identify sustainable opportunities and develop complementary skills to build economic resilience.
"There is a lack of entrepreneurial skills and proficiency programmes for youth that could create sustainable income- generating opportunities to address unemployment and boost community economic development," Swaby said.
"This initiative will cultivate a culture where youth become job creators and not job seekers. Youth need to be equipped with the necessary entrepreneurial skills and develop business acumen for them to become self-sufficient and generate their own economic opportunities," she added.
State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, who was the keynote speaker at the launch said the project that focuses on entrepreneurship is one in which other young people should try to emulate.
"This opportunity will give you tremendous training, in terms of interpersonal skills and leadership, because that is what entrepreneurship is also about. It's not just money management, which you will also learn, but it is how to work with people, how to gain confidence enough to make the decision to go out as an entrepreneur and learning that even when the times get tough you have to keep going," Green said.
SUBHEADLINE: Reaching out to young people
LEARN. EARN. RETURN. will operate in the parishes of St Elizabeth, Kingston, Clarendon and St Thomas, targeting 50 young persons between the ages of 17 and 30 years per parish.
Its objectives include equipping youth with entrepreneurial skills to generate sustainable opportunities, hosting entrepreneurship sessions across select communities to develop business acumen, and identifying mentors to provide guidance and support to youth with startup businesses.
The launch, which was organised by the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC), was also attended by Mayor of Black River, Councillor Derrick Sangster, as well as students from high schools within the parish.
Co-founder and managing director of Bresheh Enterprises, a local manufacturer of customizable bags, Randy McLaren gave an entrepreneurial testimony to the students in attendance.
Persons between the ages of 17 and 30 years who are interested in registering for the project may do so by sending an email with their name, age, contact number and address to firstname.lastname@example.org.