The Closing Ceremony of the Business Lab Workshop on Agribusiness in Trinidad and Tobago took place on August 23, 2013 at the Botanic Gardens of the Queen's Park Savannah in Port-of-Spain. The workshop was organized by the Young Americas Business Trust (YABT) and the Ministry of Food Production of Trinidad and Tobago with support from Junior Achievement Trinidad and Tobago, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Jerusalem, the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC), Israel's Agency for Development and Cooperation (MASHAV), and the Organization of American States (OAS) taking place from August 19-23, 2013 and training twenty-six (26) young entrepreneurs.
The training provided young entrepreneurs with guidance and support to generate viable and creative ideas to assure new businesses in the agriculture industry. The Business Labs are designed to stimulate innovation and generate entrepreneurial initiatives that positively affect the society and their communities. The sessions provide hands-on business experience and guidance in business modeling and planning, marketing and branding; and evaluating existing ventures to identify and pursue new opportunities.
During the closing ceremony, speeches were given by Senator the Honourable Devant Maharaj, Minister of Food Production of Trinidad and Tobago; His Excellency Ambassador Amiram Magid, Israel's Ambassador to Caribbean Nations; Honourable Jairam Seemungal, Minister of State in the Ministry of Food Production of Trinidad and Tobago. In his closing speech, Honourable Devant Maharaj thanked the organizers of the workshop and said, addressing the young entrepreneurs: "You are well poised to take advantage of the emerging opportunities…and it is with great confidence that I predict that you too will be able to become successful agri-entrepreneurs."
Following this workshop, training for young entrepreneurs and experts focused on innovation will take place in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on August 26-30, 2013. The goal is to facilitate business development for young entrepreneurs, and in the case of "Training of Trainers" create a space for the exchange of best practices, while sharing methodologies that are later replicated to create a multiplier effect in the activity's host country.
These Business Labs are directly linked with supporting youth entrepreneurship programs in the Caribbean, including the Caribbean Innovation Challenge (CIC), an international entrepreneur competition and business start-up accelerator for young people in the CARICOM Member states. The CIC is a component of the UNDP Barbados and the OECS Project: "Youth Innovation (Youth-IN): A Caribbean Network for Youth Development"