Executive Director of the Digicel Foundation Major General Robert Neish has hailed a five day youth entrepreneurial camp held in Morelands Manchester as, “a resounding success that will empower several generations of students and parents with great entrepreneurial and business skills”.
The camp, which was conceptualized by Kimala Bennett from the Business Lab and funded by the Digicel Foundation, ran for five days from April 26th-30th where participants were engaged in activities such as team building skills and the formulation and presentation of business plans. The initiative is also part of an overall six-phase youth entrepreneurial programme established by the Mutual Building Societies Foundation (MSBF)- a joint venture between the Victoria Mutual Building Society and Jamaica National Building Society called the Centres of Excellence that is aimed at training and developing high school students with the skill-sets needed to start and maintain their own businesses.
Neish further noted that, “the partnership with the Digicel Foundation and the MSBF fits directly with the Digicel Foundation’s mantra on education and entrepreneurial development”. “We are passionate about the empowerment and education of our youths which is evident in the projects that we have embarked on since our launch in 2004; the most recent being our Mobile Enrichment Cart initiative that is now being used across 20 primary schools in Jamaica to boost literacy and numeracy at the primary level”. “We are even more proud of the students who have all immersed themselves in the lessons taught and no doubt will be able to take this information to develop their schools and communities”.
Dr. Renee Rattray, Programme Manager at the MSBF echoed similar sentiments to that of Major Neish; she noted that, the "I am the Change” Entrepreneurship Camp has been a huge success!”. “The students were filled with excitement and anticipation; they were fully engaged in the teambuilding activities which promoted an exchange of ideas, experiences and aspirations”. “The seed has been planted in these 100 students and they are beginning to realize that they can be innovators and job creators who will ultimately create their own destiny”.
The camp saw over 90 students from six Centers of Excellence schools and 13 teachers being immersed in extensive and interactive training on new skill sets and plans that will be used to allow them to create business opportunities for themselves.