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Students Excel in BEDC's 3rd Annual Summer Student Entrepreneurship Program

Hamilton, Bermuda 17 September 2020 The 3rd Annual BEDC Summer Student Entrepreneur Programme ended with an awards and graduation ceremony for the participating ten students on Friday, September 4th at the Hamilton Princess. The Premier, the Hon. David Burt, JP MP and the BEDC’s recently appointment Chairman, Minister Jamahl Simmons was on hand at the celebration to congratulate the students. “It has been fantastic to see such a great group of young Bermudians eager to dive into entrepreneurship. They have excellent ideas and the BEDC Summer Student Entrepreneurship programme has helped to stimulate entrepreneurial thinking, enabled them to gain an understanding of the Bermuda market, as well as inspire and equip these young people in the local community to learn and succeed through enterprise. I would like to congratulate them and wish them well on their entrepreneurial journey,” said Premier David Burt. The students set up displays to give attendees a sampling of their products. Participating students included:
  • Sabriuna Wilkinson, Nurture Laiche a company specializing in lactation snacks for mothers;
  • Kion Knights, Yard Barbers, a landscapingcompany;
  • Zaire Lodge, BOGA Gaming Tournament, an online gamingtournament;
  • Daijah Stowe, DS Photography, a graphic design, photography and marketing business;
  • Jasmeen Codrington-Edmead, Mood, offering teens and young adults original clothingdesigns;
  • Kaliyah Whitehurst, Jordan’s Kloset, an online thriftingstore;
  • Mya Furbert-Jacobs, MFJ Cosmetics & Designs, offering lashes as well as natural lip-gloss and skincare;
  • Sari Smith, Simply Natural, a natural beverage and snack business using Monk fruit as a naturalsweetener;
  • Siraj Grant, Cupping Therapy Bermuda, a cupping therapybusiness;
  • SkyeKermode, Sky Art, offering healing through orgonite, crystals, wire work and multimedia
In addition to displaying their products, each student had an opportunity to present an overview of their business and shared how the SSEP helped to prepare themselves as entrepreneurs. Kion Knights had this to say about his experience, “I look back on my experience with BEDC and SSEP with nothing but the feeling of satisfaction. To be able to make connections in business with other local entrepreneurs was a pleasure, and I thank them for their dedication and hard work for putting on a good program through trying times.” The SSEP students between ages 16-25 earn a livable wage and save funds during the summer period as an alternative to securing summer employment for a period of 8 weeks. The programme was designed to promote a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurship as a viable career option and inspire and equip young people in the local community to learn and succeed through enterprise. To incentivize participation, a competitive element was also included in the programme. In addition to the money earned selling products and services, the students competed against each other to earn the most profit. The three participants with the highest profits earned an additional financial reward. This year, Kion Knights of Yard Barbers was the first-place winner, generating the most profit throughout the programme. He was awarded a $1,000 prize. “Winning the program was a humbling experience and to be recognised for successfully launching a business in such an economic climate means a lot to me and my family. I will take the resources and advice that I was exposed to in the program and look to further expand my own business. Hopefully one day I will be a successful businessman in Bermuda, like many before me,” said winning participant, Kion Knights. Taking home second place and a $500 prize was Skye Kermode of Sky Art and winning third place and a $250 prize was Sari Smith of Simply Natural. “It was a challenging but rewarding experience. I learned so much. I felt like coming in the top three gave me even more confidence that entrepreneurship is for me. It gave me that satisfaction that all the hard work I put in was worth the while,” said Sari Smith , third place winner. “This year, SSEP, has looked slightly different as we’ve had to get creative and think outside the box on how best to navigate Covid-19, while still giving students the necessary tools and exposure to make their businesses successful” says Deshun Simmons, Programme Coordinator. He continues, “However, I am very proud of the outcome. I have seen tremendous growth within all of the participating students. The goal of the programme was not just to assist participants with earning money over the summer, but to also impart an entrepreneurial mindset that will assist them as they prepare for their futures working in the business arena or as entrepreneurs. I believe that we have accomplished that goal.”

About BEDC

The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda’s source of free, confidential business advice. The mission is to actively assist the development of a strong, well-managed and prosperous local business sector in Bermuda. The key objective of the BEDC remains providing a broad range of business advice, counsel and financial assistance to local businesses in Bermuda.  END **Photo ID (Left to Right): Deshun Simmons, Skye Kermode, Kion Knights, Sari Smith, Premier David Burt.
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