Graduant: Entrepreneurship programmes need more men

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Valedictorian: Grigory Pantin and 3D printing of local landmarks.  Photo by Nicholas Maraj
Valedictorian: Grigory Pantin and 3D printing of local landmarks. Photo by Nicholas Maraj

Fifty-five people launched the Ministry of Sport and Community Development’s Entrepreneurship Development Management Program, also known as These Hands. 38 participants, 37 women and one man, graduated.

The Deputy Director of Community Development, Omadaye Bisan, said the program focused on crafts and what people make with their hands.

It included a three-month training with NEDCO on small business development and four weeks with Export Center Company Ltd on skill development.

Bisan said the students participated in master classes where they were divided into groups based on their business areas, such as culinary arts, home improvement, event management, self-development and creative design.

“We had experts from different fields come in and talk to the audience. They told them about how they can build their business, challenges, tips for moving forward, they had fun with questions from the audience. And it was a successful two days. “

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Participants were instructed to produce new products or services or improve existing products.

Grigory Pantin was a lonely man who graduated from university. Formerly an artist, he produces 3D prints of local icons such as Calypso Rose and Black Stalin, as well as folk tales. He hopes to gain traction in the 2022/2023 tourist season.

Pantin presented a certificate on behalf of his class.

Valedictorian: Grigory Pantin and 3D printing of local landmarks. Photo by Nicholas Maraj

“70 percent of the class graduated. There are 37 ladies and one gentleman. What happened to all the men? They didn’t get the memo, who knows? But it’s a measure of who wants to improve in Trinidad, and which gender makes up the majority of small business firms in TT.” give.”

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He spoke about the nature of the course and its broad content, and then commented on the “good, bad and ugly”.

“The good: it was an online program fully implemented and implemented during the covid19 pandemic. The bad: the same problems faced by virtual participation everywhere – communication, information dissemination and access to online devices and the Internet – but the program from next year it will be individualized.

“Well,” he said to sustained applause, “this program was 100 percent worth our time. No participant can say their time in class was wasted because each session brought invaluable information to each of us.”

He said that the course was perhaps too dense and that additional sessions or recordings would be helpful.

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About the “ugly” Pantin said that halfway through the course he realized that he was the only man in the class. At first he was happy and told a friend, but the friend said, “It was sad.”

Pantin recalled, “He said that ‘these government programs for self-improvement are free, you just need time to improve yourself.'” He was very sad that there were not more men, more young people trying to do better.

“It’s ugly, while I feel special that I’m the only man represented, the truth is there should be more.”

Pantin asked everyone present to encourage young people to join programs like With These Hands, so the number of men in entrepreneurship is increasing.



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