Next Monday, November 13th marks the start of the week designated as Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Minister of Economic Development & Tourism, Jamahl Simmons, made the proclamation last week, on the steps of the City Hall in Hamilton, and noted that the entire month of November has been designated as Entrepreneurship Month in Bermuda.
Global Entrepreneurship Week is a worldwide initiative that has grown to have over 160 host countries participate, 30,000 partner organizations that plan thousands of activiTies to engage millions of people.
“Through the work of the BEDC, as the GEW host organisation, in partnership with the Department of ICT Policy & Innovation and the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda, GEW has grown significantly,” said the Minister.
“In 2008, the host committee organised six events with four partners, and roughly 100 participants. Last year there were over 40 events, 30 partners, 5,000 participants, and over 35,000 people reached.
“This is a magnanimous feat for this small Island of Bermuda and shows what partnering to deliver on a common objective can achieve. This year the Host Committee has added some exciting new events which I encourage you all to participate in,” he added.
He was joined on stage by other dignitaries and sponsors, including Camille Hayley, representing the US Consul General’s Office; Pat Phillip-Fairn, Chief Product & Experiences Officer for the BTA, Dr Marisa Stones, Director of the Department of ICT Policy & Innovation; Korrin Lightbourne, Marketing & Community Outreach Coordinator for the Chamber of Commerce; Joe Mahoney, Executive Director of the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda and Linda Cook, entrepreneur and owner of Little Longtails.
The Minister also attended the GEW Launch and Biz Camp award reception in the Chairman’s Suite at Chubb, to launch the Bermudian activities of GEW and award the students who participated in the Biz Camp.
He welcomed parents and sponsors and commended the achievement of some of Bermuda’s “budding entrepreneurs through the Biz Camp programme”.
He also noted that “the team at BEDC supports Biz Camp by presenting to the students and judging the pitches”.
Several students went on to participate in the BEDC sponsored Rocket Pitch Competition last year.
“This natural progression is exactly what this Government wants to encourage,” said Mr Simmons. “To those young people being recognized, I say congratulations and continue to pursue your dreams. You represent our future leaders and we are proud of your accomplishments thus far.”
BEDC Education & Communications Officer and GEW Project Manager, Jamilah Lodge, reviewed “the many activities and events” planned for the month of November.
She also focused on some of the signature events including the Rocket Pitch Competition and the Tech Awards, both celebrating their ten-year anniversaries along with GEW.
BEDC will be hosting its first annual Small Business Awards to commemorate the milestone and encouraged “everyone to nominate their favourite small businesses and attend the Awards to take place at Elbow Beach Hotel on Sunday, November 12, 2017”.
GEW 2017 participants also attended the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative’s Prize-giving to receive awards for their 2017 Biz Camps.
Executive Director of YEI and GEW Host Committee Member Joe Mahoney, was joined by the Minister in presenting certificates to the teenagers who completed the intensive seven-day program held this past July and over the October break.
During Biz Camp students learned about opportunity recognition, pricing, marketing and many other aspects of running a company and developed their own business idea.
Participants also presented the audience with Biz Plan presentations from two of the participants, Toriah Smith, with Imagine Me Academy, a Special Education tutoring service, and Shalom-Yasha Cannonier, a retail and manufacturing business specializing in prosthetics and exoskeletons for military and recreational purposes.
“Seeing the students develop their plans over the camp was extremely fulfilling and makes me proud,” said Mr Mahoney.
“The course is extremely intensive and all of the participants should be commended for seeing the Biz Camp through to the end,” he added, before closing the event by thanking GEW and Biz Camp sponsors, and specifically acknowledging Chubb for sponsoring use of their space.
- For more information on GEW Bermuda, or to register for an event, go to www.gew.bm. Specific information on the activities may also be found at www.bedc.bm, or check out the GEWBermuda Facebook page.
- Global Entrepreneurship Week is held during one week in November, when the world spotlights how young people’s ideas can contribute to global economic development. GEW Global, which started in 2008 with Kauffman Foundation and the UK’s Make Your Mark organization, has grown to include Host Committees in over 160 countries. With the help of governments and non-government organizations, Host Countries coordinate events ranging from invention competitions to local entrepreneurship summits designed to stimulate creative solutions, jump start innovation and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit, especially among young people.
- The Bermuda Host Committee is made up of the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation, Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda (registered charity No 616), and the Department of ICT Policy & Innovation. Formed in 2008, the Bermuda Host Committee has grown to include a working committee made up of new and seasoned entrepreneurs and representatives from the public and private sector all acting with the common goal of inspiring the new generation of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers.
- Photos Courtesy of BEDC