Call attention to roadblocks hindering young entrepreneurs - Yaneek Page
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
One of Jamaica's noted entrepreneurs, Yaneek Page, is urging tertiary-level students to go public and bring attention to the bureaucratic roadblocks that frustrate the pursuit of entrepreneurial ventures.
The managing director of Future Services International, was speaking recently at the launch of an entrepreneurship competition spearheaded by the Guild of Students at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona.
She told dozens of students of her ordeal in getting government approval to sell her pepper spray product, five years after developing the crime fighting-tool from local Scotch bonnet.
Working with the Scientific Research Council, Page invested almost $1 million in the creation of the product but has been facing legal hurdles in getting the product on the market.
She is urging students to go public with their experiences, even at the risk of earning government backlash.
Meanwhile, junior minister in the technology Ministry, Julian Robinson, who was present, admitted that more needs to be done to make it easier for entrepreneurs although he insists that strides have been made.
He says students need to be formally introduced to entrepreneurship earlier in high school.
Robinson argues that the course has to be introduced earlier to students especially in light of Jamaica's challenging economic situation.
Robinson's call was supported by UWI entrepreneurship lecturer, Dr Kadamawe Knife, who argued further, that entrepreneurship offered at the sixth-form level should be linked with youth programmes offered by the government and private sector.
He says this would ensure the sustainability of ideas and the creation of an environment where the entrepreneurial spirit will thrive and survive among Jamaica's youth.
Students in the Jamaican school system have the option of studying entrepreneurship at the sixth-form level following the recent introduction of the course by the Caribbean Examinations Council.
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