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Infant Entrepreneurs Impressive at Business Fair Print E-mail
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Written by Shane D. Williams   
Friday, 17 May 2013 00:00

All Saints PrimaryOne area in which Belizean children have long been behind those in developed countries is financial literacy. Belize has a culture where children are excluded from financial conversations in the home. This causes them to have a limited understanding of crucial life concepts such as budgeting and saving. Fortunately for a few, there are some parents, who encourage their children to save at a young age. Such children usually grow up to be more financially responsible than others. The Ministry of Education hopes to extend that sense of financial responsibility to all Belizean children. That is why they formed a partnership with Peacework International and Price Waterhouse Cooper (PWC) to promote financial literacy in the education system of Belize.

Since 2008, Peacework and PWC have held financial literacy camps for students of Belize City from the age of 5 to 18. They establish camp sites in several schools across the city in which the participants learn concepts such as saving and investing, keys to starting a profitable business, establishing a budget for a business, creating a brand and targeting a customer base. The overall intention is to heighten the students’ entrepreneurial spirit. Teachers have played a huge role in those camps and they have kept the concepts from camp inside the classroom.

On Monday, May 13th, students from 25 schools in Belize City participated in a financial literacy fair at the Institute for Technical and Vocational Education Training compound. Jahmor Lopez, Belize District Education Manager, said that the event was a huge success. He said, “Every June we are reminded of the need to promote entrepreneurship when we see a new bunch of young people waving a diploma saying ‘I want a job’ and we are saying to them that instead of thinking about being an employee maybe you should think about becoming an employer.”

St. Joseph Primary School was voted by judges as the most impressive school at the fair. They opened a credit union in which students can open accounts and save throughout their time at the school. They also marketed a set of postcards. Second place went to student of All Saints Primary School who created a colouring book with subjects relevant to Belize such as the national symbols. Salvation Army students finished third with a very creative set of tableware. The students used old spoons and curved them into different shapes to be used as decorations for the table.

Lopez said that the Ministry of Education plans to expand the financial literacy program countrywide in the very near future. He thanked the business community for being supportive of the fair.