Students enrolled in the fourth annual BEDC Summer Student Entrepreneur Programme (SSEP) were recently awarded at a graduation ceremony held at the Innofund Innovation Incubator, known as i3.
Minister for the Cabinet, Wayne Furbert was on hand for the event held on Friday, September 3.
This year’s graduates include DeJahnique Hunt, Massassi Maxwell-Smith, Xela Swan, Sofhia Rae Pagsanjan, Zyun Burgess, Nymira Raynor, Ny’Zayah James, Joshua Allen, Marli Spriggs, Vincent Darrell and Lauren Allen.
“I encourage you to continue pursuing your dreams, leverage the knowledge and contacts you have made and create new opportunities for others to follow in your footsteps,” said Mr Furbert.
“You have the power to chart your course and make your dreams a reality.”
A BEDC spokesperson added: “The eight week SSEP programme is designed to develop young Bermudians into the island’s next wave of entrepreneurs.
“Since the start of the programme on July 12th, participants that ranged in age from 14 – 24 learned 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 specializing in furniture.
- Sofhia Rae Pagsanjan, owner of Urban Chai – a Bubble Tea business, providing top- quality beverages at affordable prices.
- Zyun 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.
“To incentivize participation, a competitive element was also included in the programme. In addition to the money earned selling products and services, the students competed against each other to earn the most revenue,” the spokesperson said.
“This year, Marli Spriggs of BookSpace took home 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 prize was awarded to Vincent Darrell of Pressure ‘til We Perish.
“The graduates displayed their products, and each student had an opportunity to present an overview of their business and shared how the SSEP helped to prepare themselves as entrepreneurs.”
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.
The SSEP participants introduced their products to the public at a meet and greet on the City Hall Lawn held on August 27th.
“This was an opportunity for the participants to introduce their businesses to the community and gain valuable experience selling and promoting their goods and services.”
Deputy Premier Walter Roban said: “BEDC has developed an exciting summer programme for young entrepreneurs. This is the type of summer learning that will guide and build the next generation of entrepreneurs. I had the pleasure of speaking with the students who agreed that the eight-week programme introduced them to the practical business skills to start and develop their business. Congratulations to the students and BEDC.”
Deshun Simmons, Programme Coordinator, added: “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.”
For more information on the Summer Student Entrepreneurship Programme and the 2021 participants, please visit www.bedc.bm, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 292-5570.