BEDC helps entrepreneurs develop new skills
Aspiring entrepreneur Antoine Jones was the big winner as the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation celebrated the conclusion of the fifth annual Summer Student Entrepreneur Programme with an awards and graduation ceremony.
In addition to the money earned selling products and services during the programme, participating students competed against each other to earn the most revenue.
The three participants with the highest revenues earned an additional financial reward.
Mr Jones of Capsule vintage/unique clothing generated the most revenue and was awarded a $1,000 prize.
He said: “The SSEP programme provided me with an exceptional foundation to begin running my business. This was made possible through various workshops and opportunities to market my products to the public.
“I am very fortunate to have been able to sell a number of my products placing me as a top earner and I cannot be more grateful to have been a part of this year’s Summer Student Entrepreneur Programme.”
Taking home second place and a $750 prize was Aaron Lugo Jr and winning third place and a $500 prize was Ry-Aidin Evans-Waldron.
Seven students received certificates of completion as well as special certificates to reflect their hard work during the programme: Aaron Lugo, Lugo’s Mighty Mower, lawn care services, Best Business Branding Award; Antoine Jones, Capsule, vintage/unique clothing, The Get Up & Go Award; Isaiah Fraser, Digi Portal, gaming services, Innovation Award; Ry-Aidin Evans-Waldron, Snkrs Joint, unique and custom sneakers, Most Growth Award; Salay Dyer-Raynor, Bermy Beads, handmade jewellery, Best Business Pivot; Taquira Simmons, Lumineux, specialised candles for mental wellness, Best Social Media Presence; and Zen Marley Mello, Zenimations, custom animations, The Creativity Award.
Each student presented an overview of their business and shared how the SSEP helped to prepare them as entrepreneurs.
Mr Mello said: “There is no limit to who can be an entrepreneur or what the idea is. It’s just about how you are going to approach it. Entrepreneurship is in my future, because I want to call my own shots.”
SSEP participants, aged between 13 and 21, earn a livable wage and save funds during the summer period as an alternative to securing summer employment.
The eight-week programme was designed to promote a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship as a viable career option and inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise.
Deshun Simmons, assistant communication & development officer, and programme co-ordinator, said: "I am very proud of each student. I have seen tremendous growth within all of them.
“The programme's goal is not just to assist participants with earning money over the summer, but to also impart an entrepreneurial mindset that will assist them as they prepare for their futures working in the business arena or as entrepreneurs.”
Jason Hayward, the Minister of Economy and Labour, and the BEDC’s chairman, Jache Adams were on hand at the celebration to congratulate the students.