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Students get taste of entrepreneurship

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
David Stone, Co-founder of the National Secondary School Entrepreneurship Competition (NSSEC), left, chat with, from second left, Jervon Jack and Shondell Roberts of Woodbrook Secondary School, Jordanesque Martin, St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph, Charisse Tenia of St Augustine Girls’ High School and Jason Julien, Deputy CEO of First Citizens Bank at the launch of the competition yesterday.

David Stone, Director, Stone Brothers Ltd is hoping that introducing school students to the world of business leads to economic diversification in the future.

“With the current situation in the oil industry, to some it may seem ironic that an energy company like Shell signed on for an entrepreneurship competition as the top sponsor and it shows Shell's dedication in assisting diversification, understanding that overall economic growth is beneficial for all sectors. While oil and by extension Shell is extremely important to T&T's economy, the dependency on the energy sector should be reduced,” he said.

Stone spoke yesterday at the launch of the National Secondary Schools Entrepreneurship Competition (NSSEC) 2017 held at the Central Bank Auditorium, Port-of-Spain.

NSSEC is a business simulation competition using business simulation training and will give students a practical and realistic new venture creation experience.

According to the NSSEC website, the competition will be administered using Innovative Learning Solutions' Marketplace Live (ILS) business simulation.

64 schools are taking part in the competition.

Stone likened this competition to the “Intercol of business” and recounted how he and his brother Christian came up with the idea for the competition.

He said his brother agreed that the competition has a lot of potential and he had been toying with an idea of a National Entrepreneurship School Competition like Intercol but for business students using the business simulation software that he taught at Carlton University while doing his Ph.D.

Jason Julien, the Deputy CEO, Business Generation First Citizens Bank who also spoke at the launch said their brand has been in T&T for 24 years and they have had to be innovative, creative and entrepreneurial and they see the same characteristics in this school competition.

“We must have young people with the mindset that they too can be an entrepreneur. There are so many examples on the global stage of successful entrepreneurs who have transformed the world from the Branson's to Tesla's, there are so many visionaries,” he said.