Over two hundred people attended Saturday’s Energizing Youth Entrepreneurship Workshop. The UB Auditorium was abuzz with folks of all ages from all over country, as business owners shared keys and tools on how to create employment opportunities. There were presentations, Q&A segments and yes even dancing. The speakers included Stephen Okeke, Kay Menzies, Shelly Usher and James Scott, who shared on topics ranging from the entrepreneurial mental process, customer service, financial management and opting for passion over pride. Here are some highlights from those presentations.
STEPHEN OKEKE – Presenter:
If you give me the opportunity right now, to go sit in an office and make ten thousand dollars a month, just by ink in the paper, and give me another opportunity to do a different kind of business where I would be physically active and make two thousand dollars, I would take that one. Money is not an issue. satisfaction [is], a sense of fulfillment, a sense of doing what I like to’
KAY MENZIES – Presenter:
Always under-price and over-deliver. When it comes to customer service, the customer that hears eight weeks and gets it in four is the customer that will be very, very pleased
JAMES SCOTT – Presenter:
Be aware of what’s happening around you. Encourage other people. Authenticity: I don’t want you to be like me.
In the auditorium’s lobby, several up and coming entrepreneurs showcased their ideas and products. We stopped by some of the booths.
These are plantain chips. We also see that it’s crispy and spicy, 100% natural. In the way that it’s crispy, actually it’s very nice. As you touch it, it just breaks. It’s spicy, [and it] all depends if you want to put pepper on it.
The way I came up with the idea of Fudge Lady is because; I used to live in Belize City and I came back to live in Ontario Village, and I didn’t have a job. One day I told my dad, “Dad, I’m going out to do something.” I went out selling Wangla fudge which is sesame seed. Through the years selling the fudge, people would ask “Do you make raisins?” I would tell them “Yes.’ “Do you make peanuts?” I would tell them “Yes”. “Coconut?” I have never made it before, but even though I told them “Yes”. Over the years, the people in the offices in Belmopan, they were the ones who gave me the name “Fudge Lady”.
This jewelry has just started up in November of last year. I am fond of colours, so I put my hobby and colours together, and this is how I create this jewelry.
And today we caught up with the coordinator of the event Patrick Jason Andrews; he shared with us the feedback they have been getting from those who attended.
PATRICK ANDREWS – Event Coordinator:
We had people from Corozal, PG, San Ignacio, Dangriga, Belize City, from all over. The report that keeps coming back, it was very beneficial, people felt inspired, people felt motivated. They felt that they were able to walk away [with] very practical ideas and tools to implement into their own personal area of small business, or into the area that they would want to develop. The numbers of unemployment is affecting us tremendously as we have seen. In fact, that was the reason why we did that. I would like to see other people in other districts take up the challenge, and for citizens and the business people to get involved and do something. I would call out for people from other districts to get involved. Let’s tackle this unemployment issue in our country. It’s affecting all of us. So all of us should try to be motivated to bring forth alternative programs to assist with that.