The regional Creativity for Employment and Business Opportunity (CEBO) is a direct result of the recommendations of the report of the CARICOM Commission on Youth Development which identified entrepreneurship development as a priority in countering youth unemployment.”
This was made clear by Programme Manager, Culture Community Development at the CARICOM Secretariat, Dr Hilary Brown at an opening ceremony on Monday for an entrepreneurial workshop under the CEBO at the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sports, Georgetown, Guyana. Dr Brown said the programme was important to CARICOM because it follows up on commitments in the Declaration of Paramaribo on the Future of Youth in CARICOM, which was issued by the Heads of Government in January 2010.
Guyanese youths interested in starting their own businesses are benefitting from workshop following two training of trainers (ToT) seminars that were held recently by the CARICOM Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport, Guyana.
Dr Brown explained that CEBO was an intense 6-day training programme that was developed to engage, motivate and inspire entrepreneurial interest and action among youth 15 to 29 years old. She said during the workshop participants would set up and staff simulated companies, develop a basic business plan as well as create, market and sell products using seed money provided by the programme. She said at the end of the workshop companies were expected to prepare profit and loss statements and analyse their successes and mistakes.
She also expressed that it was anticipated that the Government of Guyana and other local partners would be inspired and committed to continue to mount CEBO workshops across the country. “We look forward to seeing the programme implemented in all regions in Guyana” Dr. Brown said.
Dr Brown used the opportunity to thank the Government of Guyana, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and all the partners associated with CEBO such as the Japanese Government, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UNDP Youth Innovation Project for their support.
Acting Director, Youth at the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport, Guyana, Gillian Frank said there were many expectations of the young people participating in the workshop. She encouraged them to ensure that they learn from the information to be equipped with the relevant tools to make them successful business men and women. She said it was expected that there would also be behavioral change within participants that would foster discipline, sacrifice and capacity building. She also reminded participants that goal setting, strategy, conflict resolution and communication capacity were important in building businesses. She told the participants that they should not allow the opportunity to go to waste. “A few years from today I hope that we will be invited to attend a workshop like this coordinated by you. Young people you are given the opportunity to change you lives and improve your community. Let it happen” she said.
CEBO training workshops and pilot projects have been implemented in five Caribbean countries so far including Jamaica, Belize, St. Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and The Bahamas. CEBO was developed by the CARICOM Secretariat with input from Regional stakeholders.