March 10, 2008
Minister of Youth and Sports and Culture in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA) Hon. Hensley Daniel launched Nevis’ first ever Youth Enterprise Scheme (YES) on Wednesday February 27, 2008. The Plan came to fruition 13 years after it should have been introduced in 1995.
The Scheme was born after a group of youth officials from the region met in Barbados in 1995 to address the issue of youth unemployment throughout the region.
Minister Daniel who was then the Director for Community Affairs with Youth and Sports and Family Services on Nevis, said the Scheme should have been introduced much earlier, in all of the countries represented at the initial meeting held in Barbados.
However, with the ushering of the new Administration in Nevis on July 10, 2006, the way was paved for “Mr. Patrice Wilkin and Ms. Claudia Walwyn to travel to Barbados during October of 2006, for training related to the Scheme.”
Minster Daniel said, “the key components from other regional and international schemes were looked at and a Youth Enterprise Scheme (YES) was drafted best suited for Nevis.”
The Scheme is a joint venture between the government, the private sector and civil societies, which would nurture a culture of enterprise among young people who would receive training in business management and internship.
“The youth Enterprise Scheme would therefore provide an opportunity for young people to use their education for employment for themselves and their families,” added Mr. Daniel.
The youths were enlightened after they learned that to be employed by companies or other businesses are not the only path that led to economic success. They were encouraged by Minister Daniel to pursue higher education, which would further enhance their entrepreneurial skills for the creation of wealth.
The Minster said with the Scheme in place, “it’s expected that an emergence of capitalists would come from the expansion of the private sector and it’s critical for the young people to take advantage of the opportunity which would achieve the ultimate goal for the Youth Enterprise Scheme.”
The Scheme’s launch was another milestone gained for Nevis during 25 years of Independence to be celebrated this year for the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis. Minister Daniel hoped for more successful companies and businesses like the Bank of Nevis to emerge over the next 25 years.
Mr. Daniel also indicated “if young people saw their neighbours across the street doing business they would be inspired to do the same.”
The Social Transformation Minister commented about the emergence of the Caricom Single Market and Economy, (CSME) which he said existed from the threat of globalisation. However, the “CSME should not deter local enterprise,” he said.
He quoted the former Central Bank Governor, Dr Courtney Blackman who said, “in the Caribbean, people treat education the same way women treat cosmetics for adornment.”
He further quoted Dr Blackman who said, “within the United States, those who studied History, wrote History books for sale and a person who major in English, have in mind to prepare an anthology of poems for sale.”
He added that Caribbean culture had not sufficiently linked academic achievement with the creation of wealth through entrepreneurship and hoped for this to become applicable from the help of the Scheme.
He urged businesses to lend of their wealth of expertise, which would help and guide young entrepreneurs on Nevis in the right direction.
The launching of the Youth Enterprise Scheme (YES) was among other activities held by the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) during the week of February 25, to March 2, to mark one week of activities held in celebration of the first Small Business Week organised in Nevis.