IT is critical that this country develops a culture of entrepreneurship as it moves towards diversification.
This was stated yesterday by Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, Professor Clement Sankat.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a week-long Entrepreneurship Boot Camp hosted by the UWI and National Entrepreneurship Development Company Limited (Nedco) at the Institute of Critical Thinking, UWI, St Augustine, Sankat said:
"Trinidad and Tobago is at a critical juncture, that we are all aware of, that the natural resources of oil and gas which we have been so richly blessed with will not last forever. An important aspect of diversification is the pressing need for us to develop a culture of research and innovations."
He said another important aspect of diversification was going beyond the status quo.
Sankat told the participants at the boot camp that the world was changing and they had to be prepared for it, since they now lived in a more challenging world than he did when he left university.
"So training and retraining is now very important. You cannot just count on your first degree," he said.
He told them the week-long activity will help to give them the confidence they need to turn their business dreams into a reality.
"It will provide you, our recent graduates, with a range of business options and exposure to realising some of them and success," he said.
He said the programme was an interactive one that was designed to bring success to the participants. Sankat added that they were connected to a network of other UWI graduates across 16 Caribbean islands and if they are to be successful they needed to use their network.
"I hope you all take advantage of this opportunity to learn not only from your facilitators but also from one another. Take advantage of the time here and form collaborations because these can be critical as you forge on with your business ventures," he told them.
Head of the department of Management Studies, Surendra Arjoon, who said it was one of the most important initiatives that the university had taken, added that almost 97 per cent of the businesses in Trinidad and Tobago were micro, small and medium enterprises.