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Building competitiveness through entrepreneurship education

Thursday, July 26 2012

A major nationwide push to integrate entrepreneurship in education was launched by enterprise development consulting firm, CME Consulting Limited in association with the Ministry of Planning, bpTT, and NIHERST at the Entrepreneurship in Education breakfast seminar, at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad on Tuesday July 10, 2012. The Seminar was attended by educators, entrepreneurs, government and non-governmental organisations, community based organisations and members of the business community.

Held under the theme ‘Entrepreneurial Excellence through Education — an Agenda for Growth,” the seminar focussed on the role of education towards Trinidad and Tobago becoming a “competitive and innovation-driven economy” as outlined in Government’s Medium-Term Policy Framework 2011-2014. The forum was aimed at generating discussion among stakeholders and initiating action towards the growth of an entrepreneurial class by ensuring the requisite skills and attitudes are nurtured within our education system.

Keynote speaker, Senator Dr the Honourable Bhoendradatt Tewarie, Minister of Planning and Sustainable Development, said that as Trinidad & Tobago seeks to refine its education system to foster innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, we must be cognizant of the type of entrepreneur that we wish to nurture. He stated that the global economic system now rewards knowledge, enterprise, creativity and adaptability.

Referring to the need to link arts and culture to entrepreneurship, Minister Tewarie stated through artistic pursuits, children learn the skills to deconstruct the complexity of certain tasks, particularly tasks with a creative or technological dimension.

He further stated “greater emphasis on the arts in our schools will not only stimulate a critical entrepreneurial trait, but has several additional benefits that can improve citizens’ quality of life”.

Ms Judith MS Mark, Managing Director of CME Consulting Limited, stated “for too long Trinidad and Tobago has pursued several initiatives which have not had the desired impact on enterprise creation and sustainability.” It is in this context she believes “the time has come to address the matter of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurial development at all levels and to support this with activitities and initiatives external to the classroom.

She indicated it is only through a collaborative and well-integrated approach will entrepreneurship be able to fulfil its socio-economic potential.

Within the context of entrepreneurship fulfilling its socio-economic role, presenters addressed issues such as the role of private enterprise in entrepreneurial education, creation of entrepreneurial universities’ best practices and the fostering of creative minds through curriculum development and implementation in early childhood learning.

In his presentation, Ian Ivey, Principal of Next Corporation concluded there is need to “teach our students, our future entrepreneurs how to find and filter information, how to convert it into knowledge, how to collaborate and how to implement and create value.”

Ms Ronda Francis, Manager Corporate Responsibility, bpTT in her presentation on the role of the private sector in entrepreneurial education indicated large corporations are expected to balance their primary economic focus with their social investment portfolio and that bpTT as part of its corporate social responsibility programme has contributed to the creation of many entrepreneurs through its MIPED programme in Mayaro. That programme provides the community with the training, technical support and financial resources.

CME Consulting Limited is a one-stop consulting company focussed on providing comprehensive enterprise development and entrepreneurial solutions for private companies, governments, non-governmental organisations and educational institutions.

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