Hamilton, Bermuda 29 August 2022 – The 5th Annual BEDC Summer Student Entrepreneur Program ended with an awards and graduation ceremony for the participating seven students on Friday, August 26th. The Minister, the Hon. Jason P. Hayward, JP, MP and the BEDC’s Chairman, Jache Adams was on hand at the celebration to congratulate the students.
Minister Hayward welcomed the students and attendees to the ceremony stating, “I encourage you to continue pursuing your dreams and leverage the knowledge and contacts you have made [in the Summer Student Entrepreneur Program]. You have the power to chart your course and make your dreams a reality. Congratulations again on your commitment to your businesses and serving your community. As young entrepreneurs, you make a difference, and tonight, we celebrate your success.”
The participating students that received their certificates included:
- Aaron Lugo, Lugo’s Mighty Mower, lawn care services
- Antoine Jones, Capsule, Vintage/Unique clothing
- Isaiah Fraser, Digi Portal, Gaming services
- Ry-Aidin Evans-Waldron, Snkrs Joint, Unique and custom sneakers
- Salay Dyer-Raynor, Bermy Beads, Handmade Jewelry
- Taquira Simmons, Lumineux, Specialised candles for mental wellness
- Zen Marley Mello, Zenimations, custom animations
Each student had an opportunity to present an overview of their business and shared how the SSEP helped to prepare them as entrepreneurs. Zen Mello stated “There is no limit to who can be an entrepreneur or what the idea is. It’s just about how you are going to approach it. Entrepreneurship is in my future, because I want to call my own shots.”
The SSEP students between ages 13-21 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 program 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 program. In addition to the money earned selling products and services, the students competed against each other to earn the most revenue. The three participants with the highest revenues earned an additional financial reward.
This year, Antoine Jones of Capsule was the first-place winner, generating the most revenue throughout the program. He was awarded a $1,000 prize. “The SSEP program provided me with an exceptional foundation to begin running my business. This was made possible through various workshops and opportunities to market my products to the public. I am very fortunate to have been able to sell a number of my products placing me as a top earner and I cannot be more grateful to have been a part of this year’s Summer Student Entrepreneur Program.” said Antoine.
Taking home second place and a $750 prize was Aaron Lugo, Jr. and winning third place and a $500 prize was Ry-Aidin Evans-Waldron.
Students were also awarded special certificates to reflect their hard work throughout the eight-week program:
- Aaron Lugo – Best Business Branding Award
- Antoine Jones – The Get up & Go Award
- Isaiah Fraser – Innovation Award
- Ry-Aidin Evans-Waldron – Most Growth Award
- Salay Dyer-Raynor, Bermy Beads – Best Business Pivot
- Taquira Simmons, Lumineux – Best Social Media Presence
- Zen Marley Mello, Zenimations – The Creativity Award
Deshun Simmons, Assistant Communication & Development Officer, and Program Coordinator, stated, “I am very proud of each student. I have seen tremendous growth within all of them. The program’s goal is 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.”
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.