Entrepreneur Ervin Welsh and youth activist Ian Richards were trained to deliver the Creative Employment and Business Opportunity (CEBO) Manual developed by youth and other stakeholders last year in St. Kitts. The August 29 to 31 training was attended by persons from Belize, Dominica, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis and host Bahamas.
CEBO features 11 concise chapters designed to expose participants to important business concepts including; how to develop a business plan, market research, best selling practices, and risk and financial management. Chapters also highlight opportunities under the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) as well as using technology to advance and promote the business.
The facilitators’ training in Nassau was led by Dr. Marcia Brandon of the Caribbean Group of Youth Business Trusts as much of the concepts and materials in CEBO are modeled from the Barbados Youth Business Trust Manual.
“The workshop coordinators did a tremendous job of communicating the intentions of CEBO and preparing us for implementing it locally,” Mr. Welsh said. “What I found most satisfying was the mix of persons piloting the project. There were professionals from integral backgrounds – both social and entrepreneurial – and this gives me confidence that the implementation will be a success.”
Welsh stressed that “CEBO attempts to take a simple approach to the complex topic of entrepreneurship and such an agenda is critical at this time, within the Caribbean community.”
The model focuses on theoretical learning during the morning while practical sessions including developing a product and selling it, takes place in the afternoon. While the manual can be used to train ages 15 and above, emphasis will be placed on training young people especially youth at risk. As such, emphasis is placed on developing/enhancing social competencies such as teamwork, discipline, communicating effectively, time management and etiquette.
CARICOM’s Deputy Programme Manager for Youth, Dr. Heather Johnson said she was very pleased with the outcome of the three-day workshop. Dr. Johnson explained that the participants were quite knowledgeable and receptive of the training techniques. She added that she was looking forward to the upcoming national trainings.
CEBO is one of the responses to the January 2010 Report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development (CCYD). The study, which captured the dreams and aspirations of youth across the Caribbean Region, advocates the promotion of entrepreneurship. CEBO is sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Government of Japan and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).