Classroom to Boardroom abroad Barbados with Barbados Community College, Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation, Rotary Club of Barbados South and Massy.
To make this programme happen EiA worked with Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation and the Rotary Club Barbados South. EiA were responsible for facilitating the programme. The BEF was responsible for bringing the sponsor, Massy to the programme and facilitating the administration of the programme at a local level.
Our main contact at the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation was Celeste Foster, the CEO of the BEF. The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation was formed in 2009 by a group of people (including our CEO) who had the common vision of making Barbados the #1 Entrepreneurial Hubs in the world by 2020. The Classroom to Boardroom programme is one of two education initiatives delivered and supported by the BEF Talent and Education pillar. The BEF actively supported Barbados Community College in recruiting the students.
Massy, are a well-known retail company in the Caribbean. They are dedicated to enhancing the experience of their customers by providing a wide range of quality products and services.
Massy set the following challenge for the students:
- What are the opportunities for Massy companies in Barbados as it relates to the development of an online retail business? Consider:
- Think Amazon with a restrictive product base
- Product range: What products will customers want to buy online locally? – both Food and non- food Retail categories
- Customer Segment – business to consumer (B2C) and possibly business to business (B2B) customers
- Range of businesses – Massy Stores, Massy Trading, Massy Distribution, Roberts Manufacturing
- Payment facility – Massy Card (which is our credit card)
- Logistical preferences – collect or delivery system (note: readily available delivery truck infrastructure)
Comments from the students
- “The entire experience was the best part for me. The group bonded together and without Derek we would not be able to have performed as well as we did.”
- “One thing that is important is that even though in this challenge persons where different divisions of the Barbados Community College, we worked as a team, a family. I’ve learned that working in a group is really important and that everybody’s ideas count. And as a leader, I’ve experience a lot but all my skills of being a leader have improved and under pressure I have to be calm and see through the situation.”
- “Honestly, there is nothing better than what is already taking place. Everything is absolutely spectacular. I do not have anything to say because everything is good as it is.”
Comments from the clients
- “What impressed me most about the week is how the students analysed the challenged presented to break it down into various sections that the groups were able to tackle. Then to see the results coming together in a smooth and cohesive solution to a very complex challenge. How the process took the students out of their comfort zone and forced them to use critical thinking to analyse and process the final presentation.”Sophia Lisk, Programme Coordinator, Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation
- “The students were able to integrate their ideas in a manner that made 3 large entities working as one complex organisation possible – excellent work. “John Williams, President, Rotary Club South
- “The group grew over the last few days in their confidence and their ability to behave as a team.”GomellElcock, Business Development Officer, Barbados Community College
Comments from the challengers
“I was thoroughly impressed by the growth I have seen with the students. They began the process as timid individuals with limited knowledge of the company and how to respond to the challenge, but concluded the program with confidence and a passion for the business.” – Michael Banks, Business Development Analyst, Massy (Barbados) Ltd
“Amazing programme which puts young talent in a high pressure environment eventually leading to powerful transformation and high performance outcomes. The programme encourages multidimensional thinking and collaboration in an unprecedented manner. Introduces students to a simulated corporate environment which in fact mirrors reality even more than they think.”
Jeremy Nurse, Regional Strategy & Business Development Manager, Massy (Barbados) Ltd
“The group effot, the energy of the students and the detail attention to research and the comprehensive perspective to the challenge.” – Steven Williams, CEO, Sunsile Technology Solutions
Here are links to the articles.
- Challenge programme should be expanded across region, The Barbados Advocate, 13th October 2015
- Shaping students for workplace, Barbados Nation News, 14th October 2015