March 05, 2021
Hospitality and Tourism students at Anatol Rodgers School are being prepared for the working world.
The high school students got first hand lessons and experiences from entrepreneurs who own local businesses ranging from gourmet popsicles, clothing, eye lashes and finance during a virtual seminar Wednesday.
The school joins public schools throughout the island as they celebrate Career and Technical Education month to the theme “Celebrating Excellence and Innovation in Career and Technical Education: Teachers Inspiring Tomorrow's Entrepreneurs.”
Forty-seven students (grades 10 through 12) are enrolled in the Hospitality and Tourism Studies program. Over a three-year period they receive lessons in tourism studies, food prep, food and beverage services, housekeeping and front office operations. The teachers are: Vanessa Rolle, Lovina McDirmaind and Keishla Cash (Subject Coordinator, Hospitality and Tourism Studies).
Presenters included: David Whymns, CEO, Gospel T’s Clothing; Nathaniel Butler, Drewber Solutions; Kentisha Ward, CEO, Pop Stop Gourmet Popsicles and Co-founder, Bahamas International Distributors; Stephanie Daley, founder, the Lash Lady and the Standard Movement, and Dexter Fernander, Department of Inland Revenue.
Fernander gave an overview of the process involved in obtaining a business license and operating a business from registering, preparing a branding strategy to getting approval regulators and structure.
Mr. Butler provided initiatives/agencies that provide funding and assistance for small businesses. They are: Self-Starter Program, Small Business Development Centre, Academy for Women Entrepreneurs, Access Accelerator, Venture Capital Fund, Bahamas Development Bank, Bahamas Agricultural Corporation, BAMSI and the Ministry of Finance.
Encouraging the students to “secure the bag” Butler said “Entrepreneurship is all about solving problems. Every single person on this meeting can be an entrepreneur including the teachers.”
He outlined the steps to opening a business: identify a problem and provide a product, service, information or contact for that problem.
The other presenters shared their business experience and urged the students to follow their passion.