On Sunday March 29th, the Belmopan Active Youths held a graduation ceremony for 25 youths of Belmopan and the Cayo District who graduated from the BAY Massage and Entrepreneurship program under the CARSI funded project “BAY Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Development Project.”Jorge Villanueva the BAY Financial Officer headed the Entrepreneurship program. He spoke to Plus News about the importance of this project. Jorge Villanueva – Bay Financial Officer “Well the project is geared towards youths because… it’s in the name, Belmopan Active Youths. The criterion for it is between the ages of 16 to 29 and the main purpose for it is its name. Its job creation. We try to get these youths out there and get them ready to be employed, if not that, we guide them into starting their own businesses – becoming entrepreneurs because another main this is that we need to develop these small businesses in the community, especially in Belmopan. 15 youths graduated from the Entrepreneurship training and 12 graduated from the massage therapy training. Karen Williams, the Project Coordinator for Bay, headed the massage therapy program. Karen Williams – Project Director, Bay That training was ten weeks and the aim of that is to prepare these youths in a very demanding field. In tourism, there is a great need for spa therapist right now in all the hotel industries, the resorts and so forth. These youths that are coming from this training, the can either go work for a resort of a hotel… they can also open their own business. Some of them, we know already are pursuing their business in massage therapy. Emannuel Pech – Plus T.V. Journalist “As the project coordinator, what’s new for Bay? What could youths be hoping for?” Karen Williams “Well we have several projects running , so we encourage any youth within the Belmopan and Cayo District area, to come in and talk to us about their business ideas. We’re really promoting entrepreneurship. A lot of young people don’t really look at business as good option, but we want to encourage them to go into the business field, open your own business, be your own boss, contribute to the economic development of the country on a whole which is really needed. In addition to that; we have the apprenticeship program, where we are providing skills training, as well as job placement for youths who are currently unemployed or they just need a part time job while they are studying. So we provide these opportunities for them.” The Job Creation and Entrepreneurship Development Project started in September 2014.