Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
Students from several schools across the island were yesterday given insight into the operations of a range of Jamaican businesses as the Houses of Parliament sought to highlight the importance of entrepreneurship, innovative thinking and action in ensuring personal, community and national development.
The Houses of Parliament were staging their Commonwealth Day 2013 Expo at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew.
Kingston Technical, Holy Trinity high schools, and Convent of Mercy Academy were a few of the schools present at the expo, which took place under the theme 'Opportunity Through Enterprise'.
"As young people preparing yourselves for productive and worthwhile adult lives, the process of education and training - including opportunities like this exposition - is of immense importance in providing a greater understanding of available opportunities and equipping you with the necessary skills for success," said Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller as she addressed those gathered.
Michael Peart, speaker of the House of Representatives, noted that the expo not only showcased Jamaicans' capacity for innovation, but also pinpointed the necessary ingredients for making one's business a success.
"We will all be educated about the varied incentives and initiatives implemented by the Government to provide support to those involved in industry, particularly to micro, small and medium-size enterprises," Peart said.
Gordon Swaby, the 24-year-old CEO/founder of EduFocal Limited, expressed his delight at being invited to showcase his company to the students.
"We decided to be a part of the expo because we think that it's good that after all these years, we are still an active member of the Commonwealth," Swaby said. "They have helped nations grow through a collaborative effort that is not only good for Jamaica, but the other member states. I thought it would be good to have our presence here, which also means a lot to us, considering our company is only two years old."
He added: "I think as a young entrepreneur, it will be very impactful for them because not many young people are being represented, and there are a lot of young entrepreneurs who are doing great things. Being there and present is a good thing for them because it provides inspiration that will lead them to go on and do greater things."
Full Caption: Heather Cooke, clerk to the Houses of Parliament, looks on as Adrian Bailey (right), deputy head boy of Kingston Technical High School, demonstrates the operations of a wave generator made by him and fellow students. The generator could assist fishermen out at sea to produce electricity to power their electrical devices while away from land for long periods. The occasion was the Jamaica Commonwealth Day 2013 Expo yesterday at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St Andrew. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer