School’s Entrepreneurship Competition | 14 September 2020
Mitch Loze from La Retraite primary school, Lilianne Mason from International School and Isa Gamatis from the Seychelles Business Studies Academy (SBSA) are the winners of the second School’s Entrepreneurship Competition organised by the department of Industry and Entrepreneurship Development.
The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Living with Covid-19: A student perspective’.
The winners received their prizes from Vice-President Vincent Meriton, who is also the Minister for Industry and Entrepreneurship Development, in a small ceremony held at the Citizen’s Engagement Platform Seychelles (Ceps) conference room on Friday.
This was in the presence of the principal secretary for industry and entrepreneurship development, Angelique Antat, sponsors, the jury panel and teachers, among other invitees.
The aim of the competition was to encourage students to think of business solutions to problems and/or difficulties they are currently encountering in their school life due to Covid-19. It was solely based on any problem that students may be encountering upon returning to school following the temporary lockdown.
The competition saw the participation of 91 students in three age categories, namely 6-11 years, 12-16 years and 18-21 years, along with 96 submissions.
Some students made more than one submission.
This entrepreneurship competition was officially launched on June 1, 2020 and the students had the choice to submit by closing date of June 15, 2020, either an A3 size drawing, an essay (between 1000-2000 words), a video (up to 3 minutes) a business plan, a PowerPoint presentation or a prototype.
Loze, the 10-year-old winner in the primary category, submitted a drawing with regard to social distancing involving ‘beep watches’ that would ring to alert of being too close to one another and to therefore maintain social distance.
“I just wanted to present an idea on how to protect us against Covid-19 and this watch will alert you if you are not practicing social distancing,” Loze said.
Mason, the winner at secondary level, submitted a PowerPoint presentation about an online education platform – SeyEdyHub(SHE). The platform contains various features that can accommodate home schooling as well as improved efficacy in schooling in general.
“My idea would have been very effective during the lockdown and I think it is an idea that we could actually use,” 14-year-old Mason said, noting that Covid-19, as a result of the lockdown, really impacted negatively on her studies.
19-year-old Gamatis was the winner at post-secondary and university level with her PowerPoint presentation relating to a Covid-19 Stress Relief App – ‘Evapo Stress’, that addresses the physical and mental fatigue brought about by Covid-19. The fitness and mindset app has numerous features that cater for fitness and peace of mind.
“I felt that I had a lot to offer in terms of the competition based on Covid-19 as I had my own personal experiences of staying at home and studying from home which was not easy due to stress and negative thinking. So I said to myself that maybe other students maybe going through that and I thought why not create an application that may help them throughout this experience,” Gamatis said.
Addressing the gathering, Vice-President Meriton said that Covid-19 presented endless challenges for many people and the youth, although they are not talking about it, experience more anxiety and fear compared to adults.
“So, it was no surprise when we decided for this year’s competition to focus on children at the centre of the pandemic. In an era of unanticipated global crisis and technological transformation, our children have to armour themselves and face their challenges headstrong,” Vice-President Meriton said, expressing his satisfaction with the outcome of the competition.
The first entrepreneurship competition themed ‘Biznes le Fitir’ or ‘Future Businesses’ was held in July 2019 and therefore by participating in such entrepreneurship competitions, the students are expected to not just develop entrepreneurial skills that will lead to long-term achievements for themselves but also to become ready to change Seychelles’ economy and the world and make it a better place for everyone.
PS Antat later said that it will be an opportunity for stakeholders to partner with the students and to help them implement their project ideas.
The submitted projects were judged via an online portal by a jury panel consisting of Dolly Tirant, a representative from Mauritius Commercial Bank; Peter Roselie, a business consultant; Audrey Chetty, a representative from Central Bank Seychelles (CBS); Christopher Lespoire, a representative from Vimentis Seychelles and Stephanie Laure from the department of industry and entrepreneurship development.