The programme is seven years old and the 2010/2011 leg kicked off in October of last year with six schools across the federation participating. The schools are the Charlestown and Gingerland Secondary Schools, the Basseterre High, Washington Archibald High and Cayon High and the Immaculate Conception Catholic Schools.
Various stalls were mounted on the south-western portion of the Independence Square, from which the eager young businessmen and businesswomen displayed their products and services which ranged from handmade kitchen and dinner pieces and utensils to personalised t-shirts.
A sideshow was also incorporated into the fair which featured the different schools performing songs, poems and dances for their classmates, fellow-entrepreneurs and members of the public.
Coordinator of the Junior Achievement Advisory Committee and Officer Manager at the CIC, Tracy Herbert, explained to this publication that the programme is designed to – at this early age – encourage the students to become entrepreneurs while fitting them with the tools necessary to do so.
“The objective of this programme is get them interested in becoming entrepreneurs and to give them an idea of what entrepreneurship is like. The thing is, over the years, persons get into business but they don’t have anything to connect with because a lot of businesses, for example, have never done a business plan. So what we are trying to do is show them the right ropes in getting into business so that when they go out there into the business world, they would have already had the foundation…”
She explained that the Junior Achievement Trade Fair was but one part of the entire exercise.
“The first phase is creating a business plan and then after that, they have to operate the business and now they are showcasing their business and then we will have the financial report, so they would liquidate and then submit a financial report. They would have share and after liquidation, they money would be distributed to those persons who had shares in the company.”
Herbert advised that the financial reports are to be submitted in May 2011 after liquidation would have taken place. The project, however, concludes in June.
Major sponsors for the event are the First Caribbean National Bank and the St. Kitts Nevis Anguilla National Bank.