*iStock photo
*iStock photo

Budding young entrepreneurs are invited to show their business savvy during an innovative training scheme running this summer.

During the summer of 2014 The Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative in conjunction with the Department of E-Commerce and Tourism Authority will conduct two 7-day BizCamps at Berkeley Institute for 48 aspiring young Bermudian entrepreneurs 13 to 18 years old. Session One dates are July 7th to 15th with Session Two running July 17th to 25th excluding weekends.

During this intensive programs student use a combination textbooks, a syllabus specific workbook, on-line research, guest lecturers and field-based market research to learn about opportunity recognition, cost of goods, pricing, marketing and many other aspects of running a company and developed and present their own comprehensive business plan. There is no cost for students who are accepted to attend BizCamp.

Joe Mahoney, Executive Director of the YEI use curriculum from a combination of sources including the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com), Babson College, (www.babson.edu) and the Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education (www.ceed.org).  Mr. Mahoney said, “The goal is to inspire young people to become business-savvy and economically self-sufficient. Participants are provided with a business plan template, and after learning the concepts, they complete the plan with specific information for their own business idea and present it to a panel of judges selected from the business community.”

Last year, 41 students received certificates for participating in the program. They developed and presented 38 business plans. The BizCamp staff chose the “Super 7” semifinalists who then compete for prizes during the Business Plan Competition judged by professionals from the business community.

Local entrepreneurs and financing partners also came in to present real-world practices. One of those, Jamillah Lodge of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, who also served as a BizPlan Judge stated, “This is an awesome opportunity to see what the future of Bermudian entrepreneurship looks like.”

Supported by the Department of Ecommerce and Bermuda Tourism Authority with sponsorship from the Bank of Bermuda Foundation, ARGO Foundation, Tokio Millennium Re, ACE Foundation, PartnerRe, and Cellular One all expenses including training materials, daily lunch, and prizes are covered by the YEI.

Former student BizPlan Competition winners return to serve as assistant teachers. This year they include Jazmyn Williams, and Misheal Hughes.

Electronic applications are available at www.gov.bm and follow the BizCamp link, or send an email to: e-commerce@gov.bm. Participants will be admitted on a rolling basis until there are 24 for each week. 

About The Youth Entrepreneurship of Bermuda 

(any references from this section may be quoted and attributed to Joe Mahoney, Executive Director & Founder, Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative, E-Mail: joem@nfte.com Phone 799-9677)

The Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda is a dynamic not-for-profit organization established in 2002 to bring best-practice enterprise education and youth development programs to Bermuda.

The mission of the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda is to foster the development of an entrepreneurial spirit among the youth of Bermuda.

The initial objective of BizCamp is to help youth master fundamental business concepts. With that accomplished we strive to change their attitudes about education and their vision for the future. We encourage participants to develop a genuine drive to create their own educational pathway and further provide career guidance and encouragement.

Since our inception in 2002, YEI’s core program, BizCamp has directly served over 700 youth ages 13 to 19. Each summer we conduce a number of intensive week-long programmes featuring the award-winning curriculum from The Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship (www.nfte.com).

We believe that the training of youth entrepreneurs is a sustainable solution which responds to the needs of market changes by creating a dynamic responsive workforce.

The refinement of business skills leads to the growth of leadership abilities in youth, teaching them to take the initiative for change in their own lives and societies that they know. Training, technical assistance, and mentorship are, without a doubt, the most important steps for a successfully empowering a young person to overcome nearly any problem.

We accomplish this mission through a number of direct and indirect service programs which utilize cutting edge technologies in workshops, courses and competitions delivered through public/private partnerships. The YEI also provides project management services to government departments for community outreach programs which focus on youth development.

The YEI Board of Director’s task is to identify and secure the resources necessary to provide entrepreneurial training and support for young Bermudians and to herald the accomplishments of these aspiring young entrepreneurs with awards and public recognition.

The Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda supporters of this program beginning in 2012 include the Department of E-Commerce, Bank of Bermuda Foundation, ARGO Foundation, Tokio Millennium Re, XL Foundation, ACE Foundation, PartnerRe, and Cellular One.