The Dominica Youth Business Trust (DYBT) continues to fulfill its commitment to young entrepreneurs with the launch of it Social Enterprise Incubator Programme (SEI).

The programme is being implemented by the Dominica Youth Business Trust in partnership with the Barbados Youth Business Trust and funded by the European Union.

Six young Dominican entrepreneurs have been chosen to be part of the Social Enterprise Incubator at this time.

The aim of the Social Enterprise Incubator is to assist new entrepreneurs with developing and starting new social enterprises as well as providing assistance to established entrepreneurs re-branding their existing business as a social enterprise.

“One may ask what a social enterprise is. Well in short a social enterprise is an organization that uses business strategies to maximize social impact. A social enterprise main gal and mission is to impact a social challenge and not merely gain profit. Some of these social impacts and challenges include unemployment especially that of marginalized youth such as differently abled youth, juveniles and high school dropouts. Environmental social impacts such as waste management, environmental protection awareness are among other social issues such as health, sports and culture,” stated DYBT Social Enterprise Administrator, Mr. Eamon Gibbons.

Manager of the Barbados Youth Business Trust, Mrs. Cardelle Ferguson detailed some of the benefits of the programme, noting that participants will be allowed to interact with other young entrepreneurs while being exposed to expert advice.

“Through a series of workshops, the facilitators of the programme will guide the participants in development viable business ideas, and these are social business ideas, into implementable businesses. It will provide the participants an opportunity to be interactive in a peer learning environment. It will also provide business planning tools and resources. It will provide workshops and subject matter experts who are on hand to support the participants through the development of their ideas. It will support the launch of their business; it will provide them with one-on-one coaching and business mentoring. They will get an opportunity to do an assessment of themselves and their businesses to determine what the best course of action for them is,” Ms. Fergusson explained.

Minister for Youth Development, Youth at Risk, Gender Affairs, Senior Security and Dominicans with Disabilities, Hon. Dr. Adis King stated that this incubator programme will assist Dominica in achieving its Sustainable Development Goals.

“This two year incubator programme aims to provide social support to Dominican communities through social enterprises and development of the business skills of our youth. This project will contribute to Dominica’s attainment of Goal 8 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030. Goal 8 calls for urgent action to achieve decent work and economic growth in member states of the United Nations,” Dr. King stated.

The Youth Minister noted that her Ministry is committed to assisting the country’s youth through social programmes such as the SEI.

“As minister with responsibility for youth development and empowerment, I recognize the ever growing social needs in Dominica. And these every growing needs indicate a quality of ambition which my ministry is obliged to encourage and support. Clearly my Ministry is committed to combatting social challenges and issues through effective programmes. Under this programme, youth social entrepreneurs will now have the opportunity to network with other like mind individuals in the Caribbean through partnerships with and within the Barbados and St. Lucia Youth Business Trusts,” Dr. King added.