Thursday, April 25, 2024

More calls for help as BYBT funds slip


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OVER?THE?PAST?THREE YEARS there has been a decrease in funding to the Barbados Youth Business Trust (BYBT) but an increase in the number of people seeking assistance from the organization.
Executive director Marcia Brandon said the BYBT has always been financially challenged since what they did was “non-traditional and expensive”, but they managed to assist a total of over 167 young people last year compared to 138 in 2009.
“We have been able to help most of them through our training and the mentoring activities, taking them into the market and testing their products and services and doing internships to help them find out if they want to stay and do business.
We have had just over 35 new people so far this year. I think on average we are having at least seven new young people coming into the office on a weekly basis for assistance,” Brandon said.
“Since late 2007 we have seen an actual decline in our funding and that is linked to the economic crises.
“We have seen an upsurge of young entrepreneurs coming to us and that is linked to the fact that many young people are interested in starting their own businesses. Some of them cannot find jobs and find that as an alternative.
“Also, young people are seeing other successful young people out there with their own jobs and they are saying they can do it too,” she said.
She was quick to point out, however, that about 30 per cent of those coming to the organization for assistance would opt not to start a business after internship or after they learnt of the steps involved in setting up a business.
“Once they see the work that is involved, it is pretty much easy to weed out those we are going to stay and those who will not stay.
“It is not just about coming to BYBT and getting quick money, because sometimes there is no money,” Brandon explained.
The organization offers financial and technical assistance, training and mentoring among other support to people between the age of 18 and 35 who have a feasible business idea.
Brandon told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY that with several training sessions already done for the year, she was expecting a busy 2011.
The BYBT opened its doors in 1996 and has assisted just over 25 570 young entrepreneurs so far with start-up capital and other assistance.


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