Aishalton students turn high profits as In-School Entrepreneurship Fund pilot wraps up

DPI, GUYANA, Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Students of the Aishalton Secondary School have turned some of the highest profits from the In-School Entrepreneurship Fund pilot led by the Small Business Bureau (SBB).

Research and Marketing Officer of SBB, Shamane Headley.

Shamane Headley, Research and Marketing Officer at SBB, is heading up the pilot project which is currently wrapping up. On Tuesday, Headley led a team to Aishalton Secondary to witness the handing over of the profits students made from the funds received.

The In-School Entrepreneurship Fund provided an investment of $30,000 for Grades 10 and 11 students to convert their School-Based Assessments (SBAs) into actual businesses. Students in the Business, Agriculture Science, Home Economics and Building Technology subject areas were identified to be a part of the programme.

Five months ago, 10 students from Aishalton Secondary were identified to participate in the In-School Entrepreneurship Fund which was launched in October 2017. They were among the 99 students from 13 schools that participated in the pilot.

“From our feedback, from the reports that we received from those students, not only were they interested in the business but they were learning how to put what they were learning into their school work, into their SBAs and ultimately how to make business decisions,” Headley noted.

Headteacher of Aishalton Secondary, Leyon Jones expressed his satisfaction that the school was selected to be a part of the pilot programme.

Good Managers

Del Joseph, who also welcomed the programme, said he was impressed with the students’ performance throughout the programme.

Business teacher, Del Joseph, handing the profits from his business to Clint Richards.

“The students, they were actually good managers because they managed their school work with their business time and so there was no conflict whatsoever. That showed everyone that these students they’re good managers and aspiring entrepreneurs in the future.”

Joseph added that most of the students who participated in the pilot would like to reinvest their monies to continue their business and even expand it.

Clint Richards is one of the students whose profit doubled the investment he had received. The 15-year-old’s business venture was the sale of vehicle lubricant. “The reason why I choose this area is because, back home in my village, there are many motorcycles that go into the bush mines.”

Richards said he would now like to sell gasoline along with the lubricants. He commended SBB for the initiative. “For me, I’m doing Principle of Business…so it is helping me in my SBA…I know what I am doing, I’m on the right track.”

Suesweh Winter, a Home Economic student, said she has seen personal growth since participating in the programme. Her business, Sue’s Quick Bites, also successfully doubled the investment she received.  “Managing my business, balancing myself and not being ashamed of selling,” are some of the takeaways from the programme.

Tremendous Success

Headley said the In-School Entrepreneurship Fund was a “tremendous success” since it was launched. She noted the performance of the participants surpassed expectations.

“We were looking for a lot of losses except we wanted them to have the experience of managing a business so that when they are a little older…they are able to understand what they should or shouldn’t do when they get to that stage.”

Headley added that there was “not any major losses from the programme”. In fact, she said she was impressed with the performance of the schools, especially Aishalton Secondary. “They were able to use that money, put it to some tremendous usage. Many of them did not even use the full $30,000 but were able to exceptionally well projects with that money.”

The SBB will be re-evaluating the programme and making adjustments for its continuation next year, Headley said. These include providing support to teachers who are supervising the students.

Headteacher of Aishalton Secondary School, Leyon Jones.

Suesweh Winter displaying her business.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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