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BEDC graduates young entrepreneurs

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Eleven young Bermudians have graduated from the Summer Student Entrepreneurship Programme presented by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation.

The eight-week SSEP is designed to develop young Bermudians into the island’s next wave of entrepreneurs.

Since the start of the programme on July 12, participants ranging in age from 14 to 24 learnt practical business skills to help them launch their business ventures.

Graduating students included:

• DeJahnique Hunt, owner of Selfish Essentials, a luxury candle company offering high-quality candles and accessories.

• Massassi Maxwell-Smith, owner of Kissed by the Sun, a skincare business focused on using all natural, and plant-based, ingredients.

• Xela Swan, owner of Flip-flop Furniture Makeovers, a refurbishing business specialising in furniture.

• Sofhia Rae Pagsanjan, owner of Urban Chai, a bubble tea business, providing top-quality beverages at affordable prices.

• Zy-Un Burgess, owner of Yumeko, a clothing line dedicated to Japanese based anime.

• Nymira Raynor, owner of Night Flame Designs, a graphic design and merchandise company offering custom graphic design work.

• Ny’Zayah James, owner of Allure Flourish, a hair dressing service with a focus on the younger generation.

• Joshua Allen, owner of Bermuda Glass Revival, a sea glass product line created out of Bermuda’s own glass waste.

• Marli Spriggs, owner of BookSpace, a business focused on thoughtful selections of grappling educational books designed for all ages to continually learn and grow.

• Vincent Darrell, owner of Pressure ’til We Perish, a clothing and lifestyle brand built on the values of self-determination and self-drive.

• Lauren Allen, owner of Bermuda Ocean Enterprises, a business whose aim is to document Bermuda’s amazing marine wildlife as well as our fishing industry to promote education, conservation and tourism.

The programme ended with an awards and graduation ceremony held at the Innofund Innovation Incubator, known as i3.

To incentivise participation, the BEDC said a competitive element was included in the programme. In addition to the money earned selling products and services, students competed against each other to earn the most revenue.

Marli Spriggs of BookSpace earned the top prize of an additional $1,000. Taking home second place and a $750 prize was Ny’Zayah James of Allure Flourish and the third place prize of $500 was awarded to Vincent Darrell of Pressure ‘til We Perish.

Massassi Maxwell-Smith, owner of Kissed by the Sun, said: “My experience has been amazing, I've gotten the publicity and funds needed to start out my dream. I really appreciate being accepted into the SSEP community.”

Leading up to the graduation, the BEDC said SSEP participants introduced their products to the public at a meet and greet on the lawn at City Hall in Hamilton. David Burt, the premier, and Walter Roban, the deputy premier, joined the students to impart words of encouragement.

Deshun Simmons, SSEP programme coordinator, said: “This year, SSEP has looked slightly different as we’ve had to get creative and think outside the box on how best to navigate Covid-19, while still giving students the necessary tools and exposure to make their businesses successful.

“Covid-19 created additional challenges of how students sold their products. Students were able to get the necessary exposure due to the generous sponsorship of a Washington Mall location from the Washington Properties as well as the City of Hamilton waiving vending fees for the meet and greet.

“The students also took part in Harbour Nights thanks to the Chamber of Commerce generously waiving fees for the students to support our budding, young entrepreneurs.

“We would also like to extend a special thank you to entrepreneur, Catarina Rocha, of Ela Group of Companies, who graciously sponsored a flower wall for the meet and greet so that students, and guests, were able to take pictures with their products at the event.”

Young entrepreneur: Vincent Darrell speaks with Minister Wayne Furbert at the i3 (Photograph supplied)
Young entrepreneur: Xela Swan is flanked by Erica Smith, left, and Deshun Simmons of the BEDC (Photograph supplied)
Young entrepreneur: Zy-Un Burgess is flanked by Erica Smith, left, and Deshun Simmons of the BEDC (Photograph supplied)

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Published September 17, 2021 at 7:59 am (Updated September 17, 2021 at 7:59 am)

BEDC graduates young entrepreneurs

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