Ottery and Lotus River residents benefited from free business development and coaching sessions organised by Africa Jam community youth leader Christo Williams at Ottery library this month.
They were taught about starting and managing their own businesses.
The initiative aimed to empower people who are unemployed, who want to start a business, or enhance their current business ventures, and also those who just had a business idea.
Mr Williams said he asked Cheryl-Lynn Roziers, director of Chooselife Business Development Service, to give them a few tips on how to conduct a business and strategies to start one.
Mr Williams said: “This is one way of an attempt to alleviate poverty in our area. This will help put the unemployed in the job market.”
Residents of all ages attended the workshops on Saturdays June 3 and June 10.
“We invited youth to encourage them to be innovative and to create something for themselves,” said Mr Williams.
Ms Roziers worked through several modules on how businesses could connect with customers, build relationships with clients, make use of the products they are selling, service their community and be accessible. Oterry resident Ashley Ricketts was among those who attended the course.
“This workshop was a platform to start a business with vision. It gave me an understanding of the pros and cons of a business. I know I can start without start-up capital. The importance is to get my business in fibreglass work for pools registered. I would then also like to teach young people my trade.”
Another participant, Rebecca Como, of Lotus River, said: “I have an alarm and camera systems business. I have everything in place, but still need to register on the database. I learnt a lot about what you should and shouldn’t do in a business. We networked at the workshop and swopped numbers.”
Mr Williams said the first workshop set the momentum where everyone was introduced.
But the second workshop focused on details where even mothers were taught how to manage a household budget.
Mr Williams hopes there will be more interaction with the community and the next workshop still needs to be confirmed.