Saint Lucia
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Young Entrepreneurs Benefit from YEA Business Mixer

Young Entrepreneurs Benefit from YEA Business Mixer

YOUNG entrepreneurs on island got an opportunity to sharpen their skills and brain-storm with their peers as the authorities look ahead to ‘beef up’ the Youth Economy Agency [YEA] project.

More than two dozen young entrepreneurs were able to network with one another and to learn from more experienced business leaders, as YEA successfully staged its first Business Mixer.

The event, held last Thursday (June 1), at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground [DSCG] was organized by YEA in collaboration with the Taiwan Technical Mission.  The theme for the evening was “Taking the Leap: From Employee to Entrepreneur.”

One of the principal highlights of the evening was a panel discussion, featuring social entrepreneur Ms. Keithlin Caroo, the founder and CEO of Helen’s Daughters; singer and songwriter Arthur Allain; and civil engineer Dewayne Monrose of GID Services Inc.

The three shared with the audience stories of how they made the decision to get into business for themselves, what inspired them to become entrepreneurs, their fears, hurdles, and challenges, and advice as to how to commit to ownership. Allain, the five-time Soca Monarch’s testimonial was particularly expressive tracing his life and career path from teacher to fulltime entertainer.

Participants also took the opportunity to mix and mingle, exchanging ideas the better to grow their own businesses. Larius Descartes, SME Officer at Bank of Saint Lucia, presented on lending options available with his organization.

Meanwhile, YEA took the opportunity to launch its Mentorship Programme, more information about which will be circulated in due course. In attendance on Thursday evening were MP for Gros Islet, Kenson Casimir, Senator Deale Lee, Head of the Taiwan Technical Mission, Daniel Lee and the Permanent Secretary in the Department of Economic Development.

In the weeks to come, the Agency will also be hosting mixers in three more communities. On Friday, 9 June, YEA will be at Chateau Heritage, Dennery. On Thursday, 15 June, the organization is scheduled to visit Debbie’s Restaurant & Bar in Laborie and on Thursday 22 June, the team will be at The Beacon, Soufriere. All three mixers are scheduled to start with a 5:00 p.m. meet and greet to facilitate attendance by as many as possible.

According to a YEA spokesperson, “This series is intended to further educate and empower young entrepreneurs in a relaxed setting, whilst allowing them room to establish meaningful relationships amongst themselves. The Business Mixers are complementary to the training, mentorship, and financing interventions being made through YEA to support the success of Saint Lucia’s youth business community.