May 29, 2013 Business students of Mayaro Secondary School celebrated their success in the recently-concluded MIPED/YTEPP business plan competition at an awards ceremony held at the school last week. The competition was organised by the Mayaro Initiative for Private Enterprise Development (MIPED) and implemented by tutors from the Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP). More than 80 students from four secondary schools in the south-eastern community received entrepreneurial training, culminating in the preparation of business plans that were evaluated with the students of Mayaro Secondary coming out on top. Speaking on behalf of her winning class was an elated Jaudaú Guy, “This competition allowed us to learn and apply technical knowledge in a practical way and really cemented a number of business principles in our minds. It has given us confidence to express our knowledge, especially as we prepare for exams. And we are already coming up with business ideas that we want to explore when we finish our studies. We owe MIPED and YTEPP a depth of gratitude for giving us skills to succeed, not only in this competition, but in life itself.” Launched in 2002 by energy company BP Trinidad and Tobago, MIPED facilitates the development of small business entrepreneurs, providing a combination of financial and technical support. To date, MIPED has invested over $45 million and created more than 2,000 permanent and 4,000 temporary jobs. Heralding the competition as an overwhelming success was MIPED Chairman, Asraph Ali: “Today is about recognising the efforts of not only the winning students, but those of the principals, teachers, parents, YTEPP tutors and MIPED staff that made this initiative a success for every participant. You are equipped with new skills that will help you academically, as well as in your role as future business leaders. As you grow and transform your communities, MIPED will be there providing the support that you need as you shape Mayaro into a model community.” Mayaro Secondary received a number of valuable prizes, including a computer system with printer, as well as a number of business text books. Each of the participating students received a Certificate of Participation, accredited by MIPED and YTEPP. Anslem Raghoonanan, technical supervisor with YTEPP and competition judge, encouraged the students to share their knowledge. “This year YTEPP is celebrating its 25th anniversary, during which time we have successfully trained more than 100,000 persons. We were happy to partner in this initiative with MIPED, because it allowed us to further our mission of providing training and building human capacity,” Raghoonanan noted.