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Head of Junior Achievers advises: Don’t bad-talk young people, invest in them

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Youth Business T&T chairman Richard Young, from left, managing director, Enterprise Hub, Ashley Mitchell, executive chairman Junior Achievement Errol Lewis and acting president of the University of T&T Dr Fazal Ali chat after the launch of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012 at UTT’s Port-of-Spain campus at the National Academy for the Performing Arts on Friday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR


“I guess in today’s world we have to do things that are controversial to attract the attention of the media.” These were the words of Richard Young, chairman of Youth Business T&T (YBTT), as he addressed a disappointing media turnout at the launch of the Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) 2012 last Friday at the UTT NAPA Campus in Port-of-Spain. 
He thanked the media personnel present for making time to attend the launch. They comprised of a T&T Guardian reporter accompanied by a photographer, a reporter from another daily newspaper and a reporter from a radio station.
Young said T&T’s growth rate had been relatively stagnant in recent times and there were well over 30,000 unemployed people in the country. “What is worrying is that our traditional sources of employment are consistently on the decline,” he said. 
The theme of this year’s GWE is The Power of Entrepreneurship, and Young insisted that entrepreneurship is the key to sustaining development, creating employment opportunities and reducing social issues.
J Errol Lewis, executive chairman of Junior Achievers, said, “You cannot sit down and bad talk the young people if you’re not investing in them.”  Lewis said one of the activities that his organisation has planned is a visit by Indian entrepreneur and founder of Globals Inc., Suhas Gopinath. He said Gopinath is reputed to be the youngest successful entrepreneur in the world, having started his own multi-national IT company at the age of 14.
Gopinath has been invited to tour various secondary schools and speak with students. CEO of Nedco Ramlochan Ragoonanan committed the State-owned agency to GEW. “Nedco is 100 per cent behind this project. We will give full support to the project and to the host, YBTT,” Ragoonanan said. “Nedco wishes to pledge its sponsorship, representation at any planned activities, its technical assistance as well as the use of its facilities,” he said.
UTT lecturer Dr Denise Thompson said it was important for people to attempt to create jobs rather than just looking for them. GEW 2012 will be observed in more than 125 countries during the week of November 12-18. 


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