Youth Ministry Pleased with Local Representation at CIC Finals

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (May 1, 2013) – The Department of Youth Empowerment is pleased with the participation of team St. Kitts and Nevis in the finals of the Caribbean Innovation Challenge (CIC) which was held from April 25-26, 2013 in Barbados.

According to Senior Youth Officer Pierre Liburd, the Department is extremely delighted as it was the first time that the Federation was represented at such an event which saw 493 proposals from around the Caribbean Region submitted for consideration.

He said 10 groups from St. Kitts and Nevis had registered for the challenge which saw nine groups eliminated at the online judging stage. Saint Kitts Business Connections (SKBC) – made up of eight students from the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College – was chosen to compete in the finals along with 19 other groups/individuals.

“Everyone seemed impressed with the group, not only by the members’ age but also their level of professionalism while promoting their business and how they interacted with the judges and I think they did an excellent job,” Mr. Liburd stated. “It was an environment about selling their business and promoting their product and services and the benefits and profitability of it. The judges were grading from the standpoint of investors and reviewed the businesses as viable and potentially profitable entities.”

Although SKBC did not place, the Senior Youth Officer said organizers were quite impressed with its presentation. Minister of Youth Empowerment, Honourable Glenn Phillip, who had official business in Barbados, was proud of the group’s accomplishment.

“The Minister was there at a different meeting, at the same hotel and same conference area and made sure to come over and support the young persons, to give them encouragement and get a feel of their experience,” Mr. Liburd noted.

The Saint Kitts Business Connections manages the social marketing of a company identifying and implementing the most appropriate means of gaining recognition, catering to all businesses no matter their size or specialization.

The company comprises of Kai’Jana Henry-Chief Executive Officer; Dennis McCall – Chief Operating Officer; Adielle Chiverton – Chief Financial Officer; Jaleel Grant – Chief Technical Officer; Andre Hanley – Chief Marketing Officer; Nia Francis – Marketing Manager and Sanal Huggins – Finance Manager.

The Government was lauded by both participants and CIC organizers for ensuring the participation of all team St. Kitts-Nevis members and being the only Youth Ministry in the region to provide financial support for their finalists to participate.

“We are proud of the level of support we gave in ensuring that young people have access to opportunities such as these, and we’ll see about providing access to other young persons in future CICs and more activities,” Senior Youth Officer Liburd said.

He added that the Department will continue networking efforts with local, regional and international partners to enhance the business climate in the twin island Federation and to encourage more young people to become self sufficient through entrepreneurship.

The 2013-2014 CIC will be launched in June.

CIC is an international entrepreneur competition and business start-up accelerator programme for young people, between the ages of 16 and 29, in the CARICOM Member States. The CIC promotes innovation, business development, job creation and taps into the potential of young people as they generate ideas that benefit Caribbean societies and communities. CIC is an initiative of the Young Americas Business Trust.

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