Nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit in the youth |21 November 2019
In a bid to nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in the youth, the Seychelles Investment Board (SIB) organised a session of presentations to the Seychelles Business Studies Academy at Anse Royale.
The purpose of this session was to educate the final-year students about the investment opportunities available to them and to inspire them through the sharing of real-life stories of two Seychellois entrepreneurs.
Accompanying SIB were the department of the Blue Economy and two successful entrepreneurs from the private sector.
In his opening presentation, deputy chief executive Lenny Gabriel highlighted the investment opportunities available in the priority sectors and explained the steps to starting a business such as submitting a business plan to SIB, registering the business or company and registering for a Tax Identification Number (TIN).
The students were able to learn about the role of SIB in assisting the investor through a short animated video.
Mawess Gabriel, principal information and communications officer, gave a very insightful overview of the Blue Economy sector, starting with an explanation on the four main pillars of this sector namely; economic diversification, creation of high-value jobs, ensuring food security and sustainable management and protection of marine environment.
She also changed the perception that the Blue Economy only offers maritime-related jobs/opportunities by sharing the diverse roles and supporting businesses that are needed such as accountants, marketers, lab technicians, training centres and logistic services to name a few.
The group also discovered the funding opportunities within the Blue Economy namely the SeyCAAT grant and bank loan offered by the Development Bank of Seychelles (DBS) – collectively known as Blue Finance.
In the efforts to both encourage the students to invest and to inspire them, two successful Seychellois entrepreneurs shared their stories and gave valuable advice.
“With everything you plan to do in business, there is a risk of failing and a risk of succeeding. However, always go in with the thought that you will succeed. If the idea is brilliant and you put the work in, you will succeed,” said Francis Victor, managing director of Victors and Sons Pty Ltd.
He shared his experience opening and running his businesses; Ton Pol’s Shack, Anse à la Mouche Holiday Apartments, and Victor and Sons Pty Ltd , an air-conditioning installation and servicing business.
He advised the students who wanted to venture into their business to ensure that they had a good support system in place, to always be willing to learn and to manage their cash flow wisely.
After sharing his humble beginnings, Mustafa Bristol, the CEO and Founder of Bristol Enterprises Ltd, inspired the students with the feats of his business today. Some of his successes include being the largest exporter of cinnamon bark in Seychelles and being the first company in Seychelles whose products are internationally certified as organic. Soon, he will showcase his products at Cosmestics 360 in Paris, alongside major brands like L’Oréal.
“Even if you start very small, don’t think that you won’t go far. With determination and perseverance, if you really want to do something you will succeed,” he said.
At the end of the presentations, the students were able to interact with the speakers in a Q&A session. Some even expressed that they had already began brainstorming business ideas and were able to share them and seek advice.
This session was one of three delivered to post-secondary institutions, as an extension of activities organised as part of the first Seychelles Investment Week which took place between September 30 and October 4.
Contributed by SIB
Photo source: SIB