Barbados: 26 male secondary school students performs well in local interschool challenge

Twenty-six male secondary school students of Barbados have been rewarded for their outstanding performance in a local interschool challenge

 Barbados: 26 male secondary school students performs well in local interschool challenge
 Barbados: 26 male secondary school students performs well in local interschool challenge Image Credits: Barbados Children Directory Facebook Page

Barbados: Twenty-six male secondary school students of Barbados have been rewarded for their outstanding performance in a local interschool challenge. They took part in the $20 Challenge preliminary round of the Executive Inter School Senior Boys Business and Gentleman’s Challenge and had their efforts recognised on Thursday by the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) and management of the Mr Executive challenge.

The finalists from the five participating schools – St Leonard’s Boys’, Ellerslie, The Lodge School, Alleyne and Graydon Sealy – will move on to the Executive Challenge finals in August 2023. Founder and Coordinator of Executive programme, Winston Cumberbatch, told the graduation ceremony at the Sagicor Cave Hill School Business and Management, that he conceptualised the initiative in 2017 while teaching at St Leonard’s. 

He said he wanted to cultivate positive business ethics and entrepreneurial skills in boys, and to equip them for the world of work and to make positive contributions to society. He said the programme also seeks to help the boys become gentlemen in their attitudes, deportment and in their relationships with women.

He further explained that from inception, the challenge, through the preliminaries and final, focused on dress, punctuality, academics, service, business ethics and gentlemanly conduct. However, to make the contest even more of a business challenge, the specially-customised $20 Challenge, facilitated by the BEF and its sponsors, was introduced in 2022. He said, a new leadership element involving community projects that will be sponsored and partly facilitated by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, has been added.

“Such potential for personal development and exposure to business opportunities among boys has led to the Ministry of Education requesting that the initiative be extended to all schools, resulting in this Inaugural Inter-School Challenge.

One student from each school will qualify after this round to represent his school and compete in the national final for the Mr Executive Barbados title in August,” Cumberbatch explained.

Noting that ministries and several businesses have stepped forward to support the challenge, Cumberbatch also announced that coming soon, the Caribbean Broadcasting Cooperation would be airing a five-part series of the 2022 Executive Challenge, with a number of repeats, to help increase the awareness and interest among young males islandwide.

In his featured address, Financial Literacy Champion David Simpson, said the BEF was pleased to be involved in the holistic development and transformation of young people for the benefit of the country.

He stressed that the $20 challenge did not only equip the participants with the skills to become effective entrepreneurs, it also boosted their self confidence and public speaking skills. Warning the graduates that the road to success is often a lonely journey, Simpson told the students that despite being ridiculed for joining the competition, they had made the right choice.

“You have now been exposed and as far as I have learnt through my life in business, exposure creates responsibilities because once you have been exposed people will call on you to undertake tasks. I want to encourage each and everyone of you young men to use this as your launchpad to do greater things.

“You don’t necessarily have to own a business, that’s your choice. You have been trained and exposed to it. But whatever you do, I trust that this experience has been developmental in many areas of your life and that your friends and your parents and your family will see a difference in you and will therefore lend that additional support,” Simpson said.

Alleyne student Andre Lashley-Coppin received the Entrepreneur of the Year award. The Micro Enterprise of the Year was presented to the Humurem LP, while Urban Sensation received the Emerging Business title. Actural Natural Soaps was named The Rising Stars of the Year.