Young people encouraged to develop business ideas

Young people encouraged to develop business ideas
Minister Hyppolite
Minister Hyppolite

The nation’s youth are being encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities available for them to start up a business.

Minister responsible for Commerce, Business Development and Investment, Honourable Emma Hippolyte, says the nation’s youth are gifted with intellectual and innovative prowess and therefore must begin to see themselves as employers rather than employees.

She says the Government of Saint Lucia is committed to working with young people to develop their business ideas and become successful entrepreneurs.

“When you look at the youth Entrepreneurship Programme under the National Initiative to Create Employment I believe there is an opportunity for more of our business places to embrace the programme and bring in young people into their businesses to get the working experience and at the same time get that support to grow their business and I believe there is room for that.”

The minister says government is prepared to do what is necessary to improve the ease of doing business so business can continue to thrive here.

“There is so much more work we  have to do but the ease of doing business here is not the sole responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce.  We have to work with the Ministry of Finance, the Customs Department the Registry of Companies, it deals with establishing a Commercial Court in Saint Lucia and working with the financial institutions so there is a lot of work to be done but we are committed to working to ensure that at the next time around Saint Lucia’s Ease of Doing Business Rating will improve.”

Minister Hipployte says her ministry will also continue to work with the Trade Export Promotion Agency to support local businesses to  increase their exports and share of the global marketplace.


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  1. The idea of calling on the Young People (18 to 35 years) to get into Business is clearly a very romantic preposition. However, given the urgency of having a lot more successful businesses in this economic space to absorb the growing levels of unemployment makes the preposition a tad unreliable. Without seeking in anyway to diminish the potency of our youth; we must bear in mind that most of those people would have very little experience working let alone having amassed the necessary levels of experience to make a success out of business at the levels that would assist with the mentioned employment problem.

    The country runs two Venture Capital Funds for that constituency and none for the more mature and experienced among us who are entrepreneur material. We need to create avenues for all willing and able entrepreneurs and not only those under the age of 35. One more thing we can do is to engender the creation of more Publicly Traded companies here. We probably have only about 5 or less at the moment compromising of about 0.39% of the total number of VAT Registered companies on island. That figure would be smaller if you consider all businesses operating here. Publicly Traded companies tend to expand faster than their counterparts as the pressure for voluminous profit levels seem to be much greater. In addition, private companies seem very secretive about their affairs and don't open themselves to more helpful and expert advice and assistance.

    What can we do? See item #15 from the following Note


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