JA Trade Fair 2015 biggest ever

Students of Hypa Panda company try their sales pitch at the JA trade fair at Woodford Square, Port of Spain, on Friday. Showing interest are (from left), Joel Primus, bpTT; and J. Errol Lewis, Junior Achievement Executive Chairman.

“Put into practice what you have learnt through this dynamic and far-reaching project”

Monday, April 13, 2015

Energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago was lauded for its support of the Junior Achievement (JA) youth enterprise development, covering more than 30 years, as the organisation held its 45th Annual Trade Fair at Woodford Square, port of Spain on Friday, April 10.

“This is our 45th trade fair and it is by far the biggest ever in our history. We are grateful for the support of the business community but I must make special mention of bpTT, which is our flagship and platinum supporter. Had it not been for bpTT, there would be no Junior Achievement. They are the only company in Trinidad and Tobago which has kept faith in us and invested in the young people of this country over these years,” said J. Errol Lewis, Executive Director of Junior Achievement.

Lewis made the observation before several hundred secondary school students, representing 46 companies, sponsors, teachers and members of the public at the formal opening of the trade fair.

Woodford Square was turned into a virtual trade centre as the young student entrepreneurs peddled a wide range of handcrafted products, including printed tee-shirts, wrist and hand bands, earrings, bracelets, cushions, souvenir buttons, designer handbags and placemats.

Joel Primus, Community Sustainability and Stakeholder Relations Adviser, bpTT, assured the JA movement and students that the company remained committed to the objectives of the organisation. 

“BPTT’s relationship with Junior Achievement stretches back to the 1970s. We both share a similar vision. We both strive to impact the lives of the young people of our country. This programme seeks to educate our young people in business techniques in innovative and exciting ways. I challenge you, the student entrepreneurs, to let this programme make a positive and lasting influence on your lives,” Primus told the gathering.

Feature speaker was Jada Blanc, who was voted President of the Year for 2014. A student of Bishop’s Anstey East College, Blanc urged her fellow students to “put into practice what you have learnt through this dynamic and far-reaching project”.

David Moe, Director of Cooperatives, Ministry of Labour and Small Enterprise Development, said the Ministry was proud to be associated with the JA movement and pledged its continuing support.

Tai Jahra, Form 4 student of Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain and president of bpTT-sponsored company Hypa Panda, said the opportunity to perform as budding entrepreneurs was exciting and gave her colleagues the fundamentals to start a viable business. 

Apart from Holy Name Convent, the company comprised 22 students from St. Francois Girls College, St. Mary’s College, Bishop’s Anstey, Port of Spain, Woodbrook Secondary and Holy name Convent. Ten of the companies selling their products at the trade fair were sponsored and counseled by bpTT.