By Makeida Antonio
An opportunity of a lifetime has once again been offered to young entrepreneurs across the country.
The Board of the Prime Minister’s Entrepreneurial Development Programme (EDP) has announced that it will be partnering with the Department of Youth Affairs during its annual National Youth Awards for a second time.
Secretary of the Board, Vere Aaron, outlined that the Prime Minister’s EDP Award has been dedicated to recognising an outstanding young, local entrepreneur to further develop his or her pursuit of business.
“The presentation last year was a success, and the Board decided this year that we would like to renew that partnership with the Department of Youth Affairs and collaborate with them again. This year, for the second time, we are sponsoring the award for entrepreneurship now known as the Prime Minister’s Entrepreneurial Development Award,” Aaron explained on Observer AM yesterday.
While it is still too early to determine the number of applications received by the EDP Board thus far, Aaron continued to encourage eligible youth in Antigua and Barbuda to take advantage of the opportunities made available to them by the government.
He further said that Prime Minister Gaston Browne has always echoed his vision for sons and daughters of the soil to play a greater role in developing the country’s economy.
“In terms of the young people who have been coming forward and accessing the services at the EDP, I must say I am very much satisfied, and I would like to encourage all of our young entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs out there to come forward. The services are easily accessible, and once you meet the requirements, that shouldn’t be an issue at all,” Aaron added.
Nominees must be nationals of Antigua and Barbuda, be between 10 and 35 years of age, have a registered business, be of good social standing and submit a one-page executive summary with a background and nature of the business.
CEO of Wadadli Innovators, Guishonne Powell was the first recipient of the Prime Minister’s EDP Award in 2021. He won the award for his atmospheric water generator, the brainchild of his business formerly called Wadadli Power Savers at its inception in 2015.
The business now offers a combination of water, wind and green renewable technologies to be consistent with the United Nations sustainable development goals (SDG’s).
Powell told Observer how beneficial the opportunity has been for his business.
“The very first thing that I was appreciative for was the fact that I got to meet the Prime Minister in person. Not only is the Prime Minister the leader of our country, but he is a very sound businessman. We sat and we discussed my business, how my business came about and he gave me some really good financial advice,” he said in an interview.
Powell, who is also the President of the National Youth Council of Antigua and Barbuda, is also encouraging his peers to send in their applications and nominations for the award.
“It’s been a really good journey. I would encourage any young person, or if you know anyone out there who has a business just started, or even established already, please encourage them because not only is it a good networking opportunity, you also receive the opportunity to get funding,” according to the 2021 EDP Award recipient.
Applications will close on April 22. More information can be obtained by calling the EDP secretariat at 481-1000.