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Entrepreneur wants to promote Bermuda College overseas

Zayne Sinclair believes overseas students could bolster classes at Bermuda College (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

An emerging young entrepreneur believes Bermuda has tremendous potential as a hub for educational tourism.

Zayne Sinclair, 20, recently spoke about the island’s potential to draw overseas students during DisruptHR, a business ideas forum held at Bermuda College.

“With Bermuda’s beautiful environment, culture and ecology, why wouldn’t you want to study here,” he said. “It is a part of Bermuda’s culture to send people away to study. Why don’t we bring people here?”

Mr Sinclair, 20, became a believer after attending a 2½-week course in sustainable entrepreneurship in Germany last summer.

The course at the Technical Institute in Munich brought instructors from around the world to talk about different sustainable projects. It also gave students the chance to pitch their business plans and get feedback.

Mr Sinclair needed some help with Sinclair Seed Sowing, the gardening business he started at age 16.

Initially, he wanted to create vegetable gardens for economically disadvantaged people, thinking it would help them find better food security.

Three years later, his business, Sinclair Seed Sowing has grown, but is off track.

“The people who could afford my services were all wealthy,” he said.

The business has been on hold for the last year because studying and running a business was a lot to handle.

“Sometimes, I could not deliver services at the standard that I wanted to,” he said. “I decided to focus on research and community engagements. That has not really produced much money. That has been a trade-off, but it has been worth it.”

He now has an idea for relaunching, possibly in October, in a way that is more in keeping with his original concept.

When he returned to Bermuda from Germany, he saw the island in a different light.

“I suddenly saw our small size as a blessing,” he said.

He realised that being tiny made it easier to connect and initiate community-based projects.

But he also wondered why overseas students could not study in Bermuda, the way he had in Germany.

“If we could just get a couple hundred students to come to Bermuda, the benefits would be huge,” he said. “With Bermuda’s culture, heritage, beautiful architecture, and natural environment, who would not want to come here to learn?”

Mr Sinclair also thought it would raise Bermuda’s standing in the world, because those overseas students would return home, better educated about the island.

“There is a real opportunity for Bermuda to be more than a tourist attraction and a financial hub,” he said. “It could be a place for knowledge and wisdom.”

He thought that bringing more students to the Bermuda College would help fill classes.

“Sometimes professional and career education courses are cancelled because there is not enough interest in them,” he said.

However, Mr Sinclair who is a volunteer with the Bermuda College Foundation, said before such a programme could be introduced, changes would have to be made at the Bermuda College.

He said certain buildings had been updated recently, such as the Athene Career Development Centre in 2022, but on the whole, the campus had not been revamped for 30 years.

“Renovations would make things run better and smoother, and allow more investment in the Bermuda College,” he said.

He is calling for people interested in making Bermuda into an educational tourism platform to collaborate with him (zayne.sinclair1@gmail.com).

“I cannot do it all,” he said. “Having more people would make it easier.”

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Published May 27, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 28, 2024 at 8:05 am)

Entrepreneur wants to promote Bermuda College overseas

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