Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Caribbean model of youth entrepreneurship development further endorsed

THE Caribbean Centre of Excellence for Youth Entrepreneurship (CEYE) based in Barbados, working throughout CARICOM and in some Latin American countries, has won the prestigious Juscelino Kubitschek award.

The team of the CEYE has been working virtually for over ten years to help countries in CARICOM and elsewhere, including Latin America, to develop their entrepreneurship programmes and build their entrepreneurship culture.

Marcia Brandon (second from right) in Bahia Brazil, Costa do
Sauipe with the JK award at the annual meeting of the Boards of
Governors of the IDB and the Inter-American Investment Corporation.
She shared the moment with (from left to right) Martin Cox, Director,
Ministry of Finance & Economic Affairs; Cheryl Morris-Skeete, Counselor,
Barbados, IDB; and Juanita Thorington-Powlett, Permanent Secretary, Investment.
In 2011, the CEYE established a physical presence in Barbados and in 2012, its presence was endorsed by the United Nations as a concept for other nations to replicate. The CEYE is a regional organisation, working to help young people to become self-reliant and creative to accelerate innovation and sustainable development in the Caribbean region. The CEYE is also focused on regionalism because as the CEYE’s leader Marcia Brandon notes, “Alone we go fast, together we go far.”

Brandon is a well-known name in entrepreneurship, youth and civil society as well as “getting things done” circles. She is recognised as the guru of youth entrepreneurship development in the Caribbean and has helped and continues to help the Caribbean to build a strong, sustainable culture of entrepreneurship from the roots up.

The CEYE leader says she cannot thank her team enough for their support, also thanking the IDB for the high recognition and all the people who have supported and bought into the vision and partnered with the CEYE over the years. She admits that the work that she and her team undertake is not for the faint of heart, it takes long hours, a love for people and the region, as well as self-belief.

“It is not a quick fix, it is development and it takes time, it takes lots of sweat equity, it takes energy, and anyone working in this field has to walk the talk. As Barbados’ Dame Billie Miller notes, people are now standing up for themselves and not depending on others to do for them.”

The Juscelino Kubitschek award encourages self-reliance.

Kubitschek was a prominent Brazilian politician who was President of Brazil from 1956 to 1961.

His term was marked by economic prosperity and political stability, being most known for the construction of a new capital, Brasília. A leader who favoured long-term planning and who set high goals for Brazil’s future, Kubitschek is viewed inside the country as the father of modern Brazil. He stands among the politicians whose legacy is held most favourably.

Kubitschek had a vision for integration through joint North-South endeavours to raise the standard of living in Latin America, which he dubbed “Pan-American Operation”.

That initiative led to the creation of the Inter-American Development Bank in 1959, to provide regional financing for economic, social, and institutional development.

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