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What are Business Labs?

The concept of the Business Labs emerged from a Trinidadian project undertaken by the Organization of American States and the Ministry of Education in Trinidad and Tobago. The Minister of Education envisioned that the traditional use of school laboratories to provide practical experience in the areas of science could be applied to business education, thus adding a new dimension to the current theoretical approach.

Business Labs help educate youth in becoming entrepreneurs, by encouraging creativity and innovative ideas through practical exercises, and the establishment of a diverse but interconnected economic base through the promotion of new ventures. The project thus responds to the necessity of "economic diversification and integration, free trade and market access, social development and the creation of productive employment and education" objectives that were declared as three of the four major priorities for the Meeting on Planning for the Caribbean Region that took place on May 23 and 24, 2002 in Barbados. At this meeting, the Caribbean Development Bank and the OAS committed to continue mutual collaboration and cooperation. Furthermore, the Summit of the Americas in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, held in January 2004, reiterated the importance of promoting and supporting social development and integration of youth in the region as well as developing policies and projects that promote economic growth with the aim of reducing poverty.

Business Labs were one of four initiatives outlined in the Action Plan for the Tenth Conference of First Ladies of the Americas held in Quito, Ecuador in 2001. This action was reinforced in a follow up meeting held in Guayaquil, Ecuador on July 26, 2002, in conjunction to the Second Meeting of South American Presidents.

Objective

To allow young people in the region to create jobs and overcome poverty through the introduction or improvement of business education, technological literacy as well as both formal and informal training that will translate into the creation of new businesses, setting up a platform for their development.

Goal

To reduce youth unemployment and underemployment in the Americas by providing teachers and development organizations with the necessary tools and skills to enable them to design, conduct and institutionalize entrepreneurship education and development programs.

The Challenge

The main challenge facing of economic and social development is the ongoing poverty. . Business education for youth and adolescents is essential for a future that creates opportunities for young people in Latin America and the Caribbean. Donor support to YABT's Business Labs project can have a major impact on improving the design of educational and social programs. This does not only affect the lives of young entrepreneurs and their communities in the future but also the position of the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean and the success of direct investments of multinational companies.

Upcoming activitites:

  • Business Labs Focused on Creative Industries
    7-11 Nov, Roseau, Dominica
    Local partner: REACH Partner
    Trainers: Sharon Geshalter y Mosh Harel
    Register
  • InnovAction Workshop "Innovation Management"
    7 - 11 Nov, San Salvador, El Salvador
    Local partner: Universidad Tecnológica de El Salvador
    Trainers: Salomon Vilensky and Marcelo Firstman
    Register
  • Business Lab Focused on Creative Industries
    14 - 18 Nov, Georgetown , Guyana
    Local partner: REACH Partner
    Trainers: Sharon Geshalter and Mosh Harel
    Register
  • Business Lab in Creation and Business Management
    14 - 18 Nov, City of Guatemala, Guatemala
    Local partner: Ministerio de Trabajo
    Trainers: Salomon Vilensky and Marcelo Firstman
    Register
  • Business Labs Focused on Creative Industries
    Nov 28 to Dec 2, Paramaribo, Suriname
    Local partner: REACH Partner
    Trainers: David Slyper and Max Zahavi
    Register
  • Business Labs Focused on Creative Industries
    Dec 5 to 9, Kingston, Jamaica
    Local partner: REACH Partner
    Trainers: David Slyper and Max Zahavi
    Register