"WRITE BUSINESS plans, not résumés," is the advice that Valerie Veira, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), gave to teenagers and other persons who attended the launch of Camp Millionaire, an entrepreneurship summer camp for teens that begins on July 4.
Veira noted that "the practice of young people writing resumes that highlight various summer work experiences, with the goal of landing lucrative jobs, is outdated and unrealistic". Instead, she encouraged youth to "focus more on entrepreneurship as a means of employment".
In delivering the keynote endorsement on behalf of Karl Samuda, the minister of state in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Michael Stern applauded organisers Yaneek Page and Leighton Davis on the teen entrepreneurship initiative, calling it a "very good and timely idea". He noted that this camp complements initiatives of his ministry.
Page, Camp Millionaire creator and former teen entrepreneur, noted that the camp was timely, as one of the findings of the recently completed National Youth Survey is that unemployment is the greatest concern for youth aged 15 to 24. She posited that for Jamaica to develop large numbers of world-class innovative entrepreneurs, the country must create avenues to develop entrepreneurial talent in schools.
"One of the reasons Jamaica has done so well in track and field is because all our schools have track programmes that identify and nurture talent from an early age," said Page.
She noted that this was not the case for entrepreneurship. "We need to introduce entrepreneurship as early as the primary school level, and develop programmes that can identify and hone those talents."
JBDC and HEART Trust/National Training Agency, will offer benefits to campers.
Camp Millionaire will culminate in an 'out of the box' awards service that will celebrate the most innovative business ideas and the most viable business plans generated by the young participants. Campers will compete for the grand prize from Wealth Magazine and Wealth Business Access TV show.
Of special note is that these aspiring young entrepreneurs will be encouraged to focus on production in tourism, agro processing, information and communications technology and the creative industries.
The camp will run for three weeks from July 4, and will take place on the grounds of the University of the West Indies.