THE Young Entrepreneurs Camp, conceptualised by The Business Lab, is part of the Centres of Excellence programme of the Mutual Building Societies Foundation (MBSF) along with partners Digicel Foundation.
This, the second year of the camp, was held on the Rex Nettleford Hall at the University of the West Indies, Mona campus, over five days.
Sponsors such as Camara Jamaica, and Reggae Jammin' Chicken provided the laptops and meals respectively and helped to make the camp one to remember.
The main purpose of this camp is to improve the performance of six rural high schools: McGrath, Mile Gully, Porus, Seaforth to Green Pond, and Godfrey Stewart high schools.
One the first day, the campers were registered, placed in teams, and assigned counsellors, who guided them through the schedules until the end of camp.
Each school was assigned to a team, Porus High was Team Creative, Green Pond High School was Team Innovative, Mile Gully High was Team Driven, Seaforth High School was Team Confident, McGrath High was Team Persistent, and Godfrey Stewart High was Team Passionate.
And for the entire weak at camp they had to work as a group and help each other out.
Activities such as board games, market research, market activities, script writing and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) application were placed on the schedule as most important to the campers.
With the competitive, mind-building tasks such as Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat (SWOT) analysis, Lego activities, accounting, television commercials, business plan preparations, and team building, the campers had a lot on their plate.
Students, who attended the camp last year and already had their business plans were separated, for some periods during the camp. This was so they could fine-tune them for presentations, which was different from the first-year campers.
Campers were even given a tour of the UWI campus on day three by Dr K'adamawe K'nIfe, a lecturer in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The aim of the tour was to enhance the students' knowledge about entrepreneurship and the history of the university.
Guest speaker Rosmond Brown, spoke on the topic public speaking, and also shared some of the secrets in running a successful business.
On the day for presenting their business plans, first year and second year campers also presented their ICT application for smartphones. Each team was asked to create an application which could help with problems dealing with their community and school. Roland Boothe, Lawrence Rowe and Dr Linda were the judges to see which team came with the best smartphone application.
Team Persistent's app was called the Agra app, Team Creative app was called S1, Team Innovative's app was Crimespot, Team Driven presented their app Pairecom, and Team Passionate with their app TEEN EDGE.
The students had less than 24 hours to put their ideas together and come up with an application. The applications that were formulated by the students were outstanding, even with the little time they had to put their applications together.
Team Creative from Porus High presented their business plan called the Porus Guidelines Stationery and more. Team Passionate's business was called Lockers Unlimited followed by Team Innovative business called Solid Goods. Team Confidence from Seaforth High demonstrated the Snakarama and you could see that the students went all out and did their research.
Prize-giving the final event everyone was looking forward to was soon to come. GC's Documents Centre by Chevaneese Jackson and Jevaughny Gray of the Green Pond High School won a cash prize for their business idea. Other schools such as Mile Gully, with their company AJ's Green Grocery, Seafood Deluxe by Trevoy Cole and Demarco Brown Robinson were also rewarded.
Members of Team Driven was awarded most outstanding entrepreneurs.
Amayor Anderson and Kemani Davis collected their prize. Green Pond High was awarded for the best knowledge of product, Best Ad by Mile Gully, Best ICT application was a tie by Seaforth High and Porus High, and the overall best business plan went to McGrath High.
At the end the campers all they celebrated with a camp party. The students were encouraged to learn, grow, have fun, approach each activity with focus and passion.
MBSF is formed by the Victoria Mutual Building Society and the Jamaica National Building Society.