Entrepreneurship & Empowerment


Empowerment and Entrepreneurship were the subjects up for discussion in today’s session. CSS was glad to have with them, Michael Mayers (Assitant P.R Officer) and Khaleid Holder ( P.R Officer) representing Junior Chamber International (JCI) along with lecturer and co-coordinator of the Student Entrepreneurial Empowerment Development programme (SEED) programme at U.W.I –Mrs. Ayanna Young-Marshall.


Empowerment and Self Motivation

Michael delved into the motivational section of his presentation as he highlighted the characteristics that students should look to inherit on their journey to becoming successful.

Strive to be motivated : If you’re in a slump, don’t stay in a slump, get up,create new motivation whether it’s based off something complete foreign to you. You also have the option as using one of your favorite hobbies/interests as a spring board to get the ball rolling.

Compile a life plan: Compiling a life plan gives your life purpose and direction. It helps you stay on course and perfectly compliments the first point. This life plan is your blue print to success.

Consistency: You’ve done the easy part with the creation of the life plan. Now comes the difficult part – sticking to it. Understand that failing to consistently stay on course with your plan means that it’ll be that much longer in realizing your goals and dreams.

Goals and Dreams: Treat these as checkpoints and milestones along your journey. Compliment the long term aspirations with appropriate short term ones to avoid overwhelming yourself.

Finally, enjoy your SUCCESS!

Michael provided us with a formu — stay with us, it’s nothing as scary as mathematics!

The formula provided was:

V x E = M where

V = values (how important is something to you)
E = expectations (how confident are you about achieving it)
M = Motivation ( the general desire or willingness of someone to do something)

Wondering how to apply the formula ? 
With the use of a scenario, Michael showed us how.

Joe, a student who signed up for Analysis of Algorithms wants to achieve an A+++. He has  always performed well in his programming courses ( E = 10) and wants to be a Computer Programmer ( V = 10 ).

Motivation (M) => 10 * 10 = 100

However, what if :
Joe, being the typical programmer ( usually have an extreme dislike for historical literature) is now in a position where he has to sign up for a history course (E = 2). This means his motivation is a lot lower now but, the course is essential if he is to obtain his degree and secure the job so his (V= 10). As expected, Joe’s motivation (M) is now 20 compared to the 100 previously obtained.

So he should raise his expectations (E) by improving on his attention to the course and by dedicating that extra energy and effort that would be spent on leisurely activities into the course.

Setting goals using DAPPS to avoid limiting yourself to too many one off and short term goals.

Michael challenged us to become more like the successful student he outlined before he handed the presentation over to his partner, Khaleid who began by explaining the acronym DAPPS.

Dated – Ensure that your goals are time bound and have specific deadlines.
Achievable – Set realistic goals, they must be feasible within the time set. Strike a balance
Personal – Make the goals YOUR own. Set it because YOU want it and not because someone else wants it of you.
Positive – Focus on what you want and not what you don’t want. E.g If you want to raise your G.P.A by a time, then set that goal instead of I don’t want to fail a course.
Specific – Should have specific outcomes and measurable terms. E.g your goal might be to do better during the semester but, a better goal would be to achieve a 3.0 G.P.A by the end of the year.

Affirmation exercise
Khaleid implored us to start turning your weaknesses into strengths to make a positive change in our lives.

So,what do you want to strengthen?
As an exercise he asked the students to list three adjectives about themselves and encouraged us to share these words with each other. Positively building ourselves and each other as we say it.

One person said they wanted to be more outgoing while another stated they wanted to be more confident in different
areas that they work in. Other responses from the students were : being more disciplined, more patient and to have a better work ethic.

Question from a student: What would be your advise or tips for a student that is heavily involved in different areas.

Answer:  When I have a lot of deadlines or tasks I know that I need to get done, I am very precise and structured. I tried doing a diary and it work for a period of time but I stopped. Since then I have tried putting the reminders on my mobile device calendar. Also, on a more professional aspect I would make a to do list and things that are critical I will try to get those checked off and do the others at a later date. Therefore my advise to you is to have multiple strategies to ensure you accomplish all tasks you set out to do. Ensure that whatever you do suits you! Sometimes things only work for a period of time.

Question from a student: How do you stay motivated?
Answer: Motivation is like taking a shower everyday. It is important to be self motivated everyday and try to practice it as you go along. However, sometimes it can be very hard and you may need time for yourself to pick yourself up to keep you going. Many different things can be used to motivate you, it could be food or music.

A departing note was to not  let your progress in life  allow you to lose your passion.

Team Dynamics & Entrepreneurship

Mrs. Young-Marshall, after distributing cards (5 per person) to the members, invited the society to play a game of personality poker.  In this game of poker, the challenge or task was to move around the room, interact with the other members and try to get a hand of cards with the personalities that best described you.

What did this all mean?

The purpose of this tool (in the form of a card game) is to use a set of criteria derived from the types of cards in your hand to determine how best to motivate your team to be innovative and how best to thrive in an existing business or in starting your own. Basically, your innovation style will be determined by your predominant suit of cards.

Spades: Indicates that the individual is analytical and data orientated. People who like facts and who are known for their deep knowledge and who choose careers as engineers and scientists.

Clubs: Generally the planners and the ones who execute those plans, they are more about structure and action and are concerned with the results. They’re very competitive which makes them ideal for positions such as quality control professionals, project managers and producers.

Hearts: Represent those individuals who make decisions based on what people think. They are more empathetic,supportive and tend to take on customer service and clerical roles or become diplomats. They are social butterflies and very good at interacting and networking.

Diamonds: These are the creative types. They like ideas, experiences, artistic endeavors and make decisions on what they find interesting. They make great actors, artists, serial entrepreneurs. They are more oriented towards analysis.

Just as the card suits indicated the personality grouping and innovation style of the individual so did the value of the cards. In short, the lower value cards (1 -4) indicated a lower energy level and the higher values (5- 10) a higher energy level.

The feedback from the students who participated indicated that the tool is quite accurate in its diagnosis. It is important to remember that this exercise isn’t to be viewed solely from an individual perspective but, also from the perspective of team dynamics. How well will you,the individual compliment your team, what level of chemistry will be achieved and so on.

The second half of Mrs.Young-Marshall’s presentation dealt with :

The SEED Initiative


“Given the state of the economy of the country and the region, and we being responsible for ourselves, there have been many calls made for young people to create their own jobs. With the previous Prime Minister calling for creative solutions, SEED was established to create and lay the foundation.” she said.

SEED has realized that a graduate without a job is no different to a person without education. They have recognized that there is a need to create small businesses and encourage entrepreneurship.

She made reference to the millennials and how our work force will be 60-70% populated with them in the future. Millennials exhibit strong characteristics such as wanting to be their own boss, needing flexibility, control and freedom of choice. SEED acknowledges this and strives to motivate individuals into self employment.


  • Diagnose needs of the youth
  • Mentorishp
  • Business plan development and competitions
  • Training
  • Access to  finance
  • Help individuals decide if they want to own a business

Things that participants of the programme should know :

  • The importance of social networking
  • Risks and Rewards
  • Importance of research
  • Organizations that support legal structures
  • Requirements for finance
  • How to be innovative
  • Protecting your intellectual property
  • What legal structures should you create
  • Marketing

The members of the society were encouraged to undertake the programme either as a co-curricular course while enrolled at the university or treat it as a workshop and treat the programme as a workshop.

Understanding your society and what it needs is fundamentally important as this can be used as the spring board for innovation. She drew reference to individuals who identified needs/challenges and gaps that exist in their society and went on to establish businesses to fulfill that need. An example was of one group of students(Book Line) who recognized that one such gap was the limited access to text books and sought to bridge this gap ( which they successfully did).

What was important to note was that upon observation, quite a few of the winners of the business plan winners either had an Information Technology or a Computer Science background. She stressed that we (the members of the Computer Science Society) should continue this trend as the “techies” of the campus.

She implored us to stay innovative and competitive. Start feeding the rest of the world, that is, to become producers so that they understand and recognize that we (as Barbadians and to a wider extent the Caribbean region) can be creative instead of sitting back and remaining consumers.

In closing, she commended the efforts of the society and expressed her adoration and support for it. We were encouraged to participate in the plethora of projects being undertaken and to find solutions for ongoing problems such as the invasive sargassum sea weed.

So guys, you’ve been exposed to a programme which facilitates self employment. Be sure to give SEED a try so YOU can begin to sow your own seed.

If you have further questions don’t hesitate to contact Mrs. Young-Marshall, her details are hyperlinked at the start of this post.

Thank you.


Photo Snapshot by K. Trémaine Gilkes
Photo Snapshot by K. Trémaine Gilkes
JCI Presenter Left-right: PRO Mr. Michael Maynard and Immediate Past President and Legal Counsel Khalid Holder
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Check out this clip for a peak of one our sessions.

Posted by Computer Science Society Cave Hill on Monday, 21 March 2016

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