Workshop attendees urged not to rely on State to provide jobs
January 22, 2013

Workshop attendees urged not to rely on State to provide jobs

Participants in a workshop aimed at “fast tracking” young individuals into business were told yesterday that it is not the government’s duty to find work for everyone.{{more}}

Kenrick Quashie, founder and managing director of Youth Business St Vincent and the Grenadines (YBSVG), made the point at the opening of the Accelerated Youth Entrepreneurship Project (AYEP).

The workshop, which ends Wednesday, offers entrepreneurs and aspiring, young entrepreneurs training in personal development and introductions to business management, to enable them to be better equipped to operate their businesses.

Quashie said his non-profit company is interested in “creating a culture of entrepreneurship” as there is great potential for someone starting their own business and gaining a sense of independence.

“I don’t want us, even if that is the status quo in St Vincent and the Grenadines, [to think] that it is the Government’s duty to find jobs for people,” Quashie said.

“It is not the Government’s duty to do so,” he emphasised.

“It is however the Government’s duty to put in place measures to foster employment, … to ensure that taxes are reasonable, so that people — so that businesses can invest,” he further said.

Quashie highlighted that this programme, funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI), was initially designed for 25 participants.

However, due to the many applications, he is expecting over 40 participants.

“We are honoured to be assisting you. We are glad that you have interest in being entrepreneurs rather than being employees,” the director said.

He stressed that while everyone may not be an entrepreneur, it is important to explore that option.

“Do not be afraid to tell anyone when you are in business that you are there to make a profit,” he said.

Additionally, he said participants must be able to balance making money with being humane and not exploit people even if their main goal is to turn a profit.

Quashie further suggested that participants move away from the term “small businesses”.

“We want your business to move from a mustard seed, and become an elephant,” he said.

As a business owner, Quashie also stressed the importance of information and communication technology (ICT) in all businesses.

“St Vincent and the Grenadines has a population of 110,000 people… don’t see 110,000 as your market,” he said.

The workshop, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, is the first phase in AYEP and will hopefully come to a conclusion, with new businesses being established in March 2013. (BK)