In 2018, Nations School of Business and Management conducted two sessions for teenagers in the ABE Level 2 Award in Setting Up Your Own Business. The first session consisted of 30 participants and was done in Mabaruma; a remote hinterland village primarily made up of indigenous people and located approximately 237km from Georgetown.
In Mabaruma, employment opportunities are limited to a few jobs in teaching and farming. Also, after high school, there is no higher education so bringing the ABE Level 2 qualification to this village was a very welcomed initiative.
The second session took place in Georgetown and included a class of 26 participants. In Georgetown, business is very competitive and most employers require experience so there was an encouraging incentive to start up on your own.
All the participants in both locations were very excited about the programme because of its practical application and the fact that they did not need a lot of money to start up a small business.
From the graduates in Mabaruma, eight of them went on to set up their own businesses in occupations such as catering, dressmaking, canoe making, ginger farming and producing bird cages. In addition to the eight, another five graduates moved to Georgetown and found employment.
From the Georgetown sessions, seven of the graduates also went on to open their own small businesses. Three of them partnered to start up a drain cleaning service. The other four started up businesses in cake decoration, after-school lessons, food catering and power washing services. Now that many of the graduates are finished with high school exams, quite a few more have indicated they plan to start up businesses in their respective communities.
These results, from just two courses, are a true testament to the programme's success.